Tuesday, September 30, 2014
 
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Local first responders to host Lights & Sirens Parade Sunday

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[September 30, 2014]  LINCOLN - This coming Sunday, October 5, the city of Lincoln Fire Department and the Lincoln Rural Fire Protection District will host a Lights & Sirens Parade through the city of Lincoln. All first responders within the county, and in general ďanything with lights,Ē is invited to join in the parade according the Lincoln Fire Departmentís Chief Mark Miller.

The event will begin with a line-up at the Lincoln Knights of Columbus Hall on Limit Street at 11 a.m. The parade will start at 11:30 a.m. and make its way to the new Big R (old Wal-Mart) store on Woodlawn Road.

Miller recently said the event was developed as an additional activity for local fire departments to help raise awareness for National Fire Prevention Week.

National Fire Prevention Week has been observed since 1925. It takes place each year during the week that contains October 9. The specific date was chosen as a commemorative day for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The blaze began on October 8th, but lasted throughout the day of October 9. In the end, more than 250 lives were lost, 100,000 residents were left homeless, and more than 2,000 acres of the city of Chicago were destroyed.

Coincidentally, there was another fire going on in another part of the United States at the same time. A fire in northeast Wisconsin destroyed 16 towns, took 1,152 lives, and ruined 1.2 million acres of forest before it was extinguished.



In Chicago, Mrs. OíLeary and her cow get the blame for that devastating blaze. In Wisconsin, it is believed that the fires were started unintentionally by railroad workers clearing brush. There is also a theory that flaming meteorites may be the culprits as there were fires in a three state area including Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan on that date.

For the local event, Miller said the idea came up recently at a Logan County Fire Protection Association meeting. The group wanted to do something more to raise awareness for Fire Prevention week and decided to do a parade.

Miller and Lincoln Rural Assistant Chief Nick Hanson contacted Matt Grieme of Big R to see if they could use the parking lot of the new Big R for their final destination. Miller said Grieme was happy to have them come out and use the parking lot of what will be the new store.

The fire departments will have their trucks on display for adults and kids to check out, and there will be firefighters on hand to talk about the vehicles as well as fire prevention.

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The Lincoln Rural Explorers will be assisting kids in using the fire hoses to put out flames in the windows of the city departmentís burning house display. The Explorers is a youth club for those interested in pursuing firefighting as a career.

For the city of Lincoln, this is just one activity that will go on throughout the month of October. Each year the department hosts a fire prevention and safety poster contest with local students of Lincoln elementary schools.

Winners are selected by a team of judges, and the lucky students are treated to a ride to school in a fire truck.

The department also holds a special breakfast at the firehouse each year. At the breakfast, a third-grade class from one school is invited to spend the morning at the Lincoln Fire Station. The kids enjoy a meal of pancakes and sausage, a tour of the fire house upstairs and down, and learn lessons about fire prevention and safety.

The city department will continue their observance of Fire Prevention Week throughout the month of October, making visits to the local schools and doing talks and demonstrations about fire safety.

October is also the time of the year when local businesses sponsor a special fire safety and prevention coloring book published by Lincoln Daily News. The coloring books are designed by LDN, and printing is paid for through the sponsoring businesses. The coloring books are then given to the Lincoln Fire Department for them to use as they see fit throughout the year.

[Nila Smith]

 

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