Fire Department hosts open house to raise fire safety awareness
By Patrick Lacombe
The Belton Journal
The Belton Fire Department hosted an Open House last Saturday at Fire Station No. 2, located at 420 Sparta Road in Belton.
Despite the rainy weather, people from Belton and many surrounding cities packed the Fire Station and enjoyed tours, equipment demonstrations, free hot dogs and cotton candy, a bounce house, face painting and, most importantly, the firefighters and EMTs that could one day save their lives in an emergency situation.
“It’s going very well in spite of the weather,” Belton Fire Chief Francisco Corona said. “It’s all about fire safety and the public getting to know their firefighters. If they call 9-1-1, at least they know who’s coming to help them so they won’t be afraid. This is a good event. We’re glad that the citizens come and see what kind of equipment we have and tour our facility.”
In addition to meeting the firefighters and EMS personnel, the public also got to talk to Belton police officers and Badge, the Police Department Mascot. Badges’ escort, C.H.I.P.S. volunteer Jerry Grote, handed out trading cards with Badge’s photo on the front to the many children who were enjoying climbing into the cabs of the fire trucks and getting their pictures taken with Badge.
Jordan Huerta of Belton attended the event with his little brother Ian and his wife Amber.
“He (Ian) is having a great time,” Huerta said. “He wants to be a fireman when he grows up, and he has tons of fire trucks and other fireman toys. Ian’s a little shy, so we wanted to take him here to see that the guys in uniform are his friends.”
Firefighter David Holloway helped 3-year-old Jackson Niver into the driver’s seat of the Ladder Truck the department had on display. Niver was excited about being in the driver’s seat, but he let out a yelp of joy as Holloway reached in and started the fire truck for the kids. Niver and his mom and dad drove in from Killeen to enjoy the open house.
Chief Corona showed his artistic side at the open house while helping with the face painting, catering to a line of kids waiting patiently.
“October is Fire Safety Month and we try to teach the kids about safety,” Corona said. “We are all about keeping the public safe. We will visit your home and walk through your house looking for fire hazards. We also make sure you have at least one working smoke detector and we also check and replace the batteries, all free of charge. We want to do everything we can to prevent fires.”
The Chief also wants people to know that the Fire Department will NOT issue any tickets if hazards are found during the inspection.
“We have a duty to tell you about any hazards, and if it’s not safe, we make sure you have all the information on how to correct the situation,” Corona said. “I understand about being apprehensive, but please, let us come out and help you. Many times we can help you or find somebody that can.”
If you would like the Belton Fire Department to do a safety check, please call the department at (254) 933-5881. Do not call 9-1-1 for a safety check.