This year's Fire Fest event will continue to focus on fire safety, but this time a heated competition will be taking more of a center stage position.
Wayne Kent and Christopher Rabun, of the Grovetown Department, of Public Safety, participate in the muster competition at Fire Fest 2002 in Evans.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
Lee Clark, the president of the Rotary Club of Columbia County, said a muster competition - in which firefighter teams compete in events such as hose relays, a water barrel shoot and a tug-of-war - is one of the most popular events at the festival, which is scheduled for Oct. 16.
"We want to make the muster events more central and build on that. It's a real focal point," Clark said at a Tuesday planning meeting.
The festival, organized by the Columbia County Fire Chiefs Association and the Rotary Club of Columbia County, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the field across from the Evans Government Complex.
The muster competition has become so popular that Clark and event organizer Craig Tucker said they decided to rearrange the festival layout around the event. Already, five teams from throughout Georgia and South Carolina have signed on.
Because the festival is designed to promote fire safety education, children will have plenty of opportunities to learn at the festival, including fire safety displays provided by the Grovetown Department of Public Safety and the Martinez Fire Department. Little ones also will be able to squirt a real fire hose.
Also present will be Grovetown's fire safety dog, Sparkie, and Smokey Bear. In addition, a petting zoo, pony rides, games for children, refreshments and arts and craft vendors will be on site, along with many emergency response agencies.
Before the event occurs, though, Martinez Battalion Chief and Training Officer Danny Kuhlmann said residents should heed a few fire safety suggestions before the cool season begins.
October is National Fire Safety Month, and Kuhlmann recommends having furnaces and heaters checked and serviced by a certified technician to ensure the system contains no gas leaks or faulty combustion chambers that can lead to fires and high levels of carbon monoxide.
Furnaces also should be fired up now to blow out any residual dust or lint that can easily catch fire.
Fireplaces should be checked and cleaned by a chimney sweep, Kuhlmann said.
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