Compton celebrates National Fire Service Day
COMPTON—Compton residents, firemen and emergency medical services personnel celebrated National Fire Service Day on Saturday, June 23, at Station 3. Residents were invited for an afternoon of food, children’s games and emergency demonstrations.
The event is a nationwide celebration for the men and women who protect their communities from fire.
“This tradition began more than 100 years ago, when most fire departments had volunteer staff,” interim City Manager Bryan Batiste said. “The station is open to residents today and the firemen have demonstrations scheduled, and the barbecue is full of hamburgers and hot dogs.”
Past events included lighting the burn tower, rappelling and demonstrating the Jaws of Life on an overturned car.
“We cannot light the tower without permission,” Batiste said. “Only certain burn days are scheduled through the year. Today the firemen will demonstrate an extrication from a tipped-over car.”
“My advisor, Reggie Donald, taught me how to take blood pressure, and explained the AED to me,” he said. “The device saves lives by administering an electric shock during a heart attack that stabilizes and restores a healthy heartbeat for the patient.”
Fowler has been a senior explorer for more than a year and looks forward to a career in the fire department.
“I just graduated from high school, so my next stop is college,” he said. “This program has taught me a lot, and it helped me pick my career path.”
“Everybody has a job when we arrive at an incident,” Harvey said. “Every emergency needs as many hands as possible. Firemen have tools we do not carry, and situations, like emergency extrication, depend on expeditious teamwork.”
After three years as a member of EMS services, he said, he cannot wait to become a fireman.
“I love it here,” Harvey said.
Explorers Director Charles Coleman said coordinating the youngsters activities at the event took about three weeks of planning.
“They are helping out with lunch, and others will participate in the demonstrations later today,” he said. “This training program began in 1975, and offers positive activities that yield benefits all through life.”
Coleman said the group looks forward to their training academy in August.
“We do all the training here so they learn skills that firemen perform every day,” he said. “The door is always open for new volunteers, and this group, which just got named post of the year by the Los Angeles County Boy Scouts Explorers Division works together with great pride.”
Capt. Jason Henderson said many firemen in Compton begin as explorers.
“I was a Los Angeles City Fire Explorer,” he said. “Participants ride along with us and gain valuable knowledge, so when they get to the fire academy they know what to expect.”
The department is a team oriented career, Henderson said, and his event responsibility was supervising the barbecue pit.
“Capt. Waylon Davis is my expert on the grill today, and retired engineer Ronald Richard is preparing the condiments,” he said. “This is about showing our appreciation for the community, and we love having everyone here.”
Lunch was a hit, and residents lined up for the tasty meal.
“Family members volunteer at the Fire Department and I support them,” Ashley Sorensen said. “I had some lunch and look forward to all the displays. They are interesting.”
For more information about programs and events sponsored by the Compton Fire Department, visit www.comptoncity.org.