By: Neil Burger – Staff Writer
On Oct. 12, the Art Street Amphitheater hosted flames, music, food, and an armored truck, with officers, firefighters, and paramedics on scene. No, this was not a rock concert gone wrong, but rather, a safety festival gone right. From campus ministry to public safety to FEMA, everyone interested in the safety and protection of UD students was at the Safety Street Fair and Smokeout event.
Many different experiences were available for students to take part in at the fair. They could tour an armored truck, operate a fire hose, put out a live fire, and even learn to successfully evacuate a smoke-filled house. When asked about his experience at this Smokeout, first year student Will Capuano commented, “I think going through the Smokeout house was the most exciting. I’ve never been in a situation like that before. It is nice learning how to go through a simulation for something like a house fire, because you never know when you may need information like that.”
Another unique learning experience that was popular among the students was learning how to use a fire extinguisher to put out a live fire. People often see fire extinguishers on a daily basis, but have never gotten the chance to use one before. Students found it exciting and reinforcing to learn how an extinguisher works and how to use one on a real fire.
Free food and gear were also up for grabs at the event. You could receive ice cream from the Dayton Police Department while touring their armored truck. Students were allowed to sit in the back of the vehicle and stand up through the roof hatch to get a good view of the whole festival. The American Red Cross was there giving out safety information and tasty hot chocolate. The Dayton Fire Department was also on scene with one of their fire engines. They had pamphlets, bands, and stickers to give out along with the opportunity to operate the hose on their fire engine.
UD EMS was also present with safety information, refrigerator magnets, and tours of their ambulance. Other groups at the event included Green Dot, PAVE, Drug and Alcohol Alliance. Robin Oldfield is the chief risk officer, director of Environmental Health and Safety/Risk management, and one of the primary organizers for the event. When asked about the most important takeaway from the event, she said, “All of the resources available to educate students on being prepared.”
Robin also commented, “It is exciting to see the community come together, the students to be engaged, and to have support from not just Dayton, but outside organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross.” Overall, Robin and all of those involved in the Safety Street Fair and Smokeout did an excellent job of educating and engaging UD students, while making safety fun.