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Naperville Public Safety Open House ‘Fire-911’ programs will be rescheduled Oct. 19


UPDATE, Oct. 4, 2016 / Alert! Alert! Alert! A date has been set for the annual ‘Fire-911’ program, postponed on Oct. 1, 2016, due to inclement wet weather. The Naperville Fire Department has rescheduled its demonstrations and emergency vehicle display to run from 4:30PM to 7PM on Wed., Oct. 19, at the Public Safety Center.

Original Post / Saturday’s Public Safety Open House from 10AM to 2PM attracted a dedicated group of families that withstood the intermittent raindrops to attend the popular event at the Public Safety Center, located at 1320 Aurora Ave. The annual event focuses on safety with educational exhibits suited for all ages, staffed by knowledgeable individuals.

Inside the huge garage at Fire Station 7, interactive displays, printed pamphlets, coloring books and other giveaways welcomed visitors to an abundance of public safety information and best practices of the police and fire departments, all to benefit the community.

For instance, since 2014, the City has provided receptacles where residents can dispose expired drugs and unused prescription meds. Since the Rx Drop Off program was launched and through June 2016, 1.8 tons of medications (3,640 pounds) have been collected, keeping the drugs out of the waste water and ground water, noted Judy Greenberg. Rx Drop Off boxes are outside all 10 fire stations as well as inside the Naperville Police Station.

Fortunately, the weather cooperated enough Saturday morning for the Naperville Police Department Special Response Team (SRT) to perform its simulation of a drug arrest with the K-9 unit, scheduled early in the event.

Due to the rainy weather that dampened ability to perform several of the demonstrations, the Naperville Fire Department will reschedule the Fire-911 part of the Public Safety Open House from 4:30 to 7PM on an October evening to be announced,” said Soraya McLaughlin for the Naperville Fire Department.

Watch for the announcement of the later date when an auto extrication and simulated DUI arrest along with a helicopter exercise as well as a flashover fire demonstration will be presented.

Still, the fire station garage attracted youngsters, including one 3-year-old in full firefighter gear, who enjoyed meeting Sparky and Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis. Others found the history of the Naperville Fire Department on exhibit with the 1874 Joe Naper Pumper and the 1924 Ahrens Fox.

PHOTO GALLERY / Public Safety Open House 2016 (Click any photo to enlarge)

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Safety Town

Safety Town also provided tours during the Public Safety Open House.

At noon, Mayor Steve Chirico and Naperville Police Chief Bob Marshall joined members of the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club and Will County Board member Suzanne Hart at Safety Town for the presentation of a grant from Enbridge, a pipeline company that exists to connect families and businesses to the energy necessary for the quality of life they expect. The company also aims to educate communities about pipeline safety to protect individuals as well as their property while also supporting projects that fit its local safety grant program.

For example, about four months ago, Mayor Chirico met with Enbridge to accept a grant for the Naperville Fire Department purchase of a new piece of foam suppression equipment. At that time, the pipeline company inquired about other projects and the mayor suggested Safety Town.

Presented by Lara Hamsher, the Community Relations Advisor for the Chicago region of Enbridge, the $1,000 grant will help support local youth programs hosted at Safety Town.

For starters, one of the initiatives of Enbridge is to educate the public about the free national service to “call before you dig” for locating underground utilities. “Know what’s below” information can be taught at an early age.

Moreover, the free service to call 811, also known as JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators), is underwritten by Enbridge and other utility companies to protect communities from the serious consequences of striking a pipeline or underground utilities.


Above / Safety Town received a grant from Enbridge to help create awareness about knowing what’s below the ground to protect pipelines and utilities that serve the community’s needs. Simply put, “Know what’s below. Call 811 before you dig.”

Prepare. Practice. Prevent.

Back at the fire station, another featured exhibit that attracted attention included a new drone that will “put eyes in the sky” over a four-county area, including DuPage, Will, Kane and Kendall counties for the Naperville Fire Department. According to NFD Firefighter Scott Howell, the department’s drone team coordinator, when use of the “advance intelligence” is approved in full accordance with the rules of the FAA—the group mainly responsible for the advancement, safety and regulation of civil aviation—the drones will be used with “due regard to people and property … and understanding the consequences.” Howell expects FAA approval before the end of the year.

The City of Naperville supports the belief that citizens are the number one defense against fire and crime. The Public Safety Open House is an opportunity to spread the word that residents need to “Prepare, Practice and Prevent” in order to keep their families safe.

Take a bite out of crime!

Garth Kennedy, a dedicated volunteer for NEMA, provided tours of the Naperville Emergency Management Mobile Operating Center, “another piece of the insurance for public safety.”

At the end of the event Kennedy took down video cameras aimed to record the rescue operation during the two-car collision reenactment. The extraction demo that was cut from Saturday’s program will be rescheduled during the Fire-911 later this month.

Kennedy went on to explain, “Video surveilliance is set up at all major events in Naperville. At the entrance of Ribfest and other big events, you’ll see signs that say ‘Video Surveillance’.”

In the memorable words of Crime Stoppers, “Keeping our community safe is everyone’s responsibility.”



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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.