(Posted Aug. 19, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Last year, 950 people attended the Safety Expo, a free, family-friendly event hosted annually by the Madison County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and area first responders.
“We hope to have just as many visitors this year or more, now that COVID has cleared a little bit. Myself and the first responders are wanting that connection piece with the children again,” said Holly Langham, EMA deputy director.
The 2022 Safety Expo is set for Aug. 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Madison County Fairgrounds in London. Activities will take place in the Eby Youth Arena and outside on the grounds. The event offers activities designed to share safety information in fun and engaging ways for all ages.
As has become tradition, medical response helicopters will make landings at the expo. MedFlight is scheduled to arrive around 10:30 a.m., and Care Flight is slated to land around 12:15 p.m. Both landings are subject to change should the flight crews be called out on an emergency.
First Energy and AEP will hold live-wire safety demonstrations. The Central Townships Fire Department will hold a mock rescue demonstration during which they free a victim from a car using special extraction tools.
Once again, the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails will put on a bike rodeo. Children are encouraged to bring their bikes for safety lessons. Free bike helmets will be given away while supplies last. London City Schools will have a school bus on site for children to practice bus safety. A fire-themed bounce house is part of the fun, too.
Visitors can get up close looks at fire, police and emergency medical vehicles on display on the grounds. Inside the Eby Youth Arena, service agencies and vendors will offer information and activities focused on safety topics like Stranger Danger, seatbelts, ham radio operations, emergency preparedness kits and family emergency plans, and safe ways to promote child development.
New this year, the Jefferson Township Fire Department is offering a children’s fire obstacle course, and the EMA has purchased three sets each of fire, police and paramedic outfits for children.
“The kids get to dress up like first responders and get their pictures taken,” Langham said.
Food at the expo is being handled differently this year. In the past, fire fighters and paramedics cooked hamburgers and hotdogs on site. This year, they get a break from cooking duties. Instead, each expo visitor will receive a ticket upon entry for a free slice of pizza and a drink provided by Cappy’s Pizza of London. Dairy Queen is providing free dilly bars while supplies last.
“Because they were cooking all day, I felt like the first responders didn’t get a chance to interact with the kids as much. This way, they can do that,” Langham said.
The theme for this year’s Safety Expo is “Not All Superheroes Have to Wear a Cape.”
“The expo is a free, fun way to provide safety education and connect children with first responders,” Langham said.
Visitors are asked to enter the fairgrounds from Garfield Avenue. For more information, call the EMA at (740) 852-4200.