By Lindsay Starr Platt
The Belton Journal
A crowd gathered in downtown Temple at the Central Fire Station to participate in the annual Fire Rescue Safety Day on Saturday. The fire station opened their doors to the public and conducted tours for adults and children. Children had the opportunity to try on mini-sized fireman uniforms with plastic helmets and slide down an inflated slide that simulated a fire escape. The fire station also provided a free lunch of hot dogs, chips and drinks.
“This is our tenth year doing this event,” said Temple Fire Fighter Ron Stewart. “Last year we had almost a thousand people come to it, and should see that many again this year.”
The mobile fire and smoke simulator was open for the public to practice how to escape from a smoke-filled building that is on fire. A black Labrador Retriever named Torch, the unit’s arson detective canine, greeted attendees and welcomed petting and pats on the head. Sparky, the big plush Dalmatian mascot, was available for photo opportunities and hugs from children and adults alike.
“It’s exciting for the community and the kids to learn about the equipment and explore the station,” Fire Chief Mitch Randall said. “And it is great for us to spend time with the community.”
Tina Amlin of Temple came out to the event.
“I am glad they (Temple Fire Department) have these events, and glad they have all this for the kids to do, and for the education,” said Amlin.
The event also featured the crowning of the 2014 Bell County Miss Flame at the Central Fire Station and was one of the highlights of the day.
“To be eligible to be Bell County Miss Flame, a girl must be a sophomore or junior in high school and live in Bell County,” said Cheryl Drummond, Bell County Miss Flame Coordinator. “Because fire prevention is not popular with teens, this program helps this age group get involved in fire prevention. These girls get to make public appearances, participate in parades, it helps so much. They are crowned for a year for the fire department they represent, and this year we have four candidates running for Bell County Miss Flame.”
The Troy Volunteer Fire Department, Belton Fire Department, Morgan’s Point Resort Volunteer Fire Department and Salado Volunteer Fire Departments all had contestants anticipating the announcement of the winner.
The crown for 2014-2015 Bell County Miss Flame went to Salado Volunteer Fire Department’s Miss Flame, Kylar Combs. Outgoing Bell County Miss Flame Rachael Fulger crowned Combs and presented her with the sash. First runner-up went to Jessica Nabors, Morgan’s Point Resort Volunteer Fire Department.
“This is truly an amazing opportunity to be blessed with and look forward to the memories I will take away with me as Bell County Miss Flame and Salado Miss Flame,” Combs said. “Thank you for this opportunity.”