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A celebration of safety

Ben Godar

Emergency vehicles, rescue demonstrations, Walt Disney characters,

food and music -- it can only be Burbank’s annual Fire Service Day

and National Police Week celebration.

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This year’s event will fill the streets surrounding the Police and

Fire Headquarters from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 10. At least a dozen

new and vintage fire vehicles, the police helicopter and many other

rescue vehicles will be on display along Orange Grove Avenue and

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Third Street. Several safety-related agencies will host informational

booths at the event, and Walt Disney characters will be available for

free pictures with children.

Organizers are most excited about the planned demonstrations,

which will include paramedics, a hazardous-materials crew and the

urban search and rescue team, Fire Capt. Ron Bell said.

A disc jockey will play music, and Bell said food and drinks will

be available for a nominal cost. He said the idea is for people to

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have a good time, but also to learn about public safety and the work

done by firefighters.

“We want to get rid of some of these ideas about what we do,” he

said. “We’re not just sitting around playing checkers on the cracker

barrel anymore.”

Fire Service Day has been an annual event for more than 20

years. It always served as the Fire Department’s open house, but Bell

said since the agency joined police in a joint headquarters that

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opened in 1998, the event has grown even larger. This year, Bell said

he expects about 4,000 people to attend.

In addition to participating in demonstrations including search

and rescue and rappelling, Burbank Police plan to display their

equestrian, K-9 and airport crash units. The joint event is

something officers look forward to every year, spokesman Sgt. Bruce

Speirs said. Tours of both departments will be offered, and their

shared museum will be open.

“It gives us a chance to slow down and be able to totally devote

our time to interacting with the citizens and talking with kids,”

Speirs said.

Bell said the celebration is also a way to show off the equipment

the city has provided.

“We hope to let people know we take pride in our facilities and

our apparatus -- you can’t beat either one,” he said.


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