Safety Expo will be entirely outdoors

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Taner Smith, a firefighter with Central Townships Joint Fire District, helps Noah Cleaver of London direct the water spray from a fire hose to put out a pretend fire on a mock-up of a burning house during the 2019 Safety Expo. Cleaver successfully hit his target, learning just how difficult it can be to maneuver a heavy fire hose. This year’s expo is scheduled for Aug. 28. All facets of the event will take place outside to allow for social distancing with the pandemic in mind.

(Posted Aug. 18, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

After a year off due to the pandemic, the Madison County Emergency Management Agency’s (EMA) Safety Expo is back on the schedule. This year’s event is slated for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Madison County Fairgrounds in London.

The expo–a free, family-friendly event featuring local health and emergency response agencies–will look a little different than in years past. Due to the ongoing pandemic, organizers have made changes to the setup with participants’ health and safety in mind.

All information booths, demonstrations and displays will take place outside to allow for social distancing. In the past, some activities took place inside fairgrounds buildings. Also, bounce houses, face painting and caricature drawings are not on the schedule this year.

“We want it to be safe so people feel comfortable to come,” said Debbie Sims, EMA director.

All other facets of the expo remain intact. Visitors can get close-up looks at a variety of first responder vehicles. Two medical helicopters will make landings. More than 20 health and emergency response agencies will be on hand to answer questions, hand out educational information, and put on small demonstrations.

The Friends of Madison County Parks & Trails are partnering with law enforcement personnel to put on their always popular bike rodeo. Children are invited to bring their bikes and take part in safety lessons. Organizer will distribute free bike helmets while supplies last.

Free food is part of the fun, too. The choices include hamburgers, hotdogs, brats, water and other goodies.

In a change from past years, visitors are asked to enter the fairgrounds from the 205 Elm St. entrance rather than the Garfield Avenue entrance.

This year marks the event’s 20th anniversary. The expo was established to pay tribute to first responders in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

For more information about the Safety Expo, call the Madison County Emergency Management Agency at (740) 852-4200.

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