(Posted Aug. 24, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
With new features and expanded participation, this year’s Safety Expo promises to be bigger and better than ever.
“Our committee has grown and com-munity support has grown, too,” said Roger Roberts, director of the Madison County Emergency Management Agency, which is hosting the expo.
The free, family-friendly event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Madison County Fairgrounds in London. Those entering by car should use the Garfield Avenue entrance. Hotdogs and hamburgers will be served as part of a free lunch at 11:30 a.m. An ice cream social is set for 1 p.m.
Throughout the event, children can visit learning stations covering a wide variety of topics, from school bus and seatbelt safety to water safety and bullying. They can go through a fire safety house and safety obstacle course, learn how to shoot a bow and arrow at the archery trailer, and get an up-close look at safety equipment, including fire engines, police and highway patrol cruisers, and EMS squads.
New this year, Madison EMS will hold a “Price is Right”-inspired game asking participants to guess how much items on the vehicle cost, such as fire axes, turnout gear, gloves, and the truck itself.
“The game is geared more toward adults to give them an idea of what their tax dollars are going to,” Roberts said.
Three medical helicopters will be on site during the event—Med Flight, Care Flight and Air Evac. If possible, their landings will be timed to coordinate with Jaws-of-Life auto extraction demonstrations.
Other new features include a bike rodeo sponsored by the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails. The group will provide bikes for kids to ride while they learn about bike safety. AEP will wheel in its 16-foot trailer promoting power line safety. Columbia Gas also plans demonstrations. TSC is lined up to conduct chainsaw safety demonstrations.
The Columbus bomb squad is back with its bomb robot and truck. Madison Health will present hands-only CPR instruction.
Visitors can sign up to receive a free smoke detector. The American Red Cross and local fire personnel will then set up a time to install the detectors in participants’ homes. At the time of installation, they will teach families about fire escape plans and fire safety.
Other expo activities include a bouncy house, clowns, caricature artist, and COSI Science Spots kiosks. Every child who attends will get a monkey-themed goodie bag to go with the expo’s theme: “Safety is not monkey business.”
In addition to first-responders, several county agencies will be on hand to share information about everything from mental health to domestic violence.
“Our hope is that families have a good safety mindset when they leave and that they go home and exercise it,” said John Hopkins, assistant chief of the Central Townships Joint Fire District and a member of the expo planning committee.
The Safety Expo will take place rain or shine. For more information, call the Emergency Management Agency at (740) 852-4200.