Hi, I'm axlfire,I'm on a Volunteer Fire dept. I've been on the fire dept going five years. Last year I was appointed the chairperson for my fire dept, open house. I do have a few idea's for the open house. but I was wondering if anyone has any other idea's. What I'm looking for is what we can do to bring more people out to our open house. I'd like more thing for the kids alomg with the adults. so If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I'd like this year to be the best one that we've had in awhile. Thank You.:)
I just posted this idea to another thread....and I'll go ahead and paste it here for your consideration.:)
The volunteer department that I served on for many years would hold a poster contest for school kids, in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week. It would be broken down into age categories, so kids would compete against their own age groups. The fire department officers or committee would judge the entries and the winners, along with their parents, were invited to the firehouse for the awards. These were usually simple; savings bonds, gift certificates, small trophies, etc.
The local newspaper was usually on hand to take photos of the winning students posing with the Chief.....with an engine or truck as the background. This was usually done at an open house, during Fire Prevention Week. The mayor and Fire Commissioner were also invited, along with appearances by Sparky the Fire Dog and Smokey Bear.
It was very inexpensive, yet very successful in promoting public relations. The kids and parents loved it and looked forward to it each year. (It brought many parents and kids to the firehouse)
Good luck in whatever you decide to undertake!;)
I volunteer at a station in charlotte nc and we do at least one BBQ every year to help raise funds for our department. This always draws a large crowd to the station. One of the things that we do is we set up a drive through type thing and we move the trucks out of the bays so we can setup tables for people to eat at the staion. I dont know if your station does any type of fund raiser but if you do then you could mabey tie it in with your open house. This would bring people in your community to the station and they can see you guys in person and see your apparatus when its not screaming down the road. Just a thought, hope your open house is succsesful and good luck.
Our department yearly (if not more frequently) has open houses. We try to set out fire prevention information. We have even given away smoke detectors on some occasions. Depending on the time of year, we will flow some water or set up the folding tank and put one of our members in with a dry suit or the float pump to demonstrate some of the equipment we have. "Smokey the Bear" usually tries to make an appearence. We try to keep everyone entertained and informed. stay safe.
I coordinated the open house last year for our fire department. We started planning about 3 months prior and found that to be barely enough time. We involved the emergency community including: the local police, the state patrol, Ambulance, ATF, Lifeflight, Red Cross, the hospital, the regional training center, Representatives for NFPA’s Risk watch program. We planned events throughout the day including: a car fire demonstration, a vehicle extrication demonstration, portable fire extinguisher training/demonstration and a high-rise tech rescue demonstration. We made calls to local grocery stores and obtained donations of Apples and Cookies after offering to put “courtesy of…” signs at the table. A local soda bottling company was able to donate soda machines and cups. The Firefighters union donated popcorn.
We then created a press release for the local newspaper and some radio stations that were glad to help. We created flyers for the local grade school kid to take home. Red Cross donated balloons for the kids.
Throughout the day we had turnout races for the kids, free blood pressure checks, informational tables and booths set up inside the truck bays, an Exit Drills In The Home training house for the kids, and more. We tried to focus in on fire prevention and general safety messages. We had displays of various fire apparatus, police cruisers, ambulances, boat rescue, fire investigation vehicles. We had a truck ladder up with block & tackel ropes to give kids a hands-on understanding of mechanical advantage.
We had a great response of close to 4000 people. The best part is that it only cost the fire department about $280 (we purchased lunches for all the volunteer staff). The business community is generally very supportive of the local fire department. I hope this gives you some Ideas. Have a great day.
One thing we also do that seems to go over well it the fire extinguisher training. We have several burn pants and a lot of fire extinguishers, we demonstrate their proper use. Then we allow everyone the chance to use them on the fire, they get to wear a turn out coat and helmet. We have found the more hands on demonstrations the more people show up.
I've been meaning to reply to all you suggestion I just want to say thank you for all the suggestion all of you have written. they're all very real good. I'm going to try to use them all. I'm going to have a meeting with my open house committee soon, if any one has more suggestions please keep them coming. anything you may have done in the past or going to do soon will help me a lot. Thanks again. Stay safe out there
If you please the kids and keep them busy, the parents will have a huge respect for you....trust me
As the time is coming up for our open house, I would like to say thank you for everybodys suggestions. I have just about everything that everyone suggested and more that I have gotten from other fire stations open house. If you still have suggestion please feel free to reply. I still have a month to go.
Let not forget about our fallen brothers and sisters that have past away that SEPTEMBER DAY and other day