Manchester Volunteer Fire Department observes National Fire Prevention Week with library visit

More than 70 people attended Manchester Volunteer Fire Company's visit to the Carroll County Public Library's North Carroll branch to coincide with National Fire Prevention Week.

"There's only one you and you need to get out as quickly and safely as possible. Stop for nothing," Erin Drumheller, Manchester's fire prevention committee chairwoman, said to the group on Wednesday.


Drumheller said the company reaches out to schools, child care centers and libraries to help share the fire safety message every year.

"Fire doesn't discriminate. It takes the lives of the young and the old every year," she said. "The library is a nice venue because we can reach out to young children as well as their parents."

Prior to going outside and checking out the fire engines, Drumheller gave a short lesson on fire safety. She encouraged the group to change their smoke alarm batteries twice a year when the time changes. She also reminded them to replace smoke alarms every 10 years.

Drumheller also encouraged families to have an escape plan with two ways out of every room and a meeting place outside. She advised families to get low and crawl to stay under the smoke.

Firefighter Theresa McGinnis demonstrated how firefighters put their gear on and went around the room greeting the attendees.

"It's very important not to hide and to draw attention to yourself so the firefighters can find you," Drumheller explained.

June Bitzel, North Carroll branch's children's services supervisor, said the visit was great because children "get to see a fire person in their gear."

She said, "So often children can be afraid of the uniform but meeting the person in there and learning what to expect really helps."

Donning a firefighter's raincoat, Camden Lagatare, 3, seemed excited to check out the firetrucks and ring the bell.

"I thought the program was very beneficial," said Camden's mother, Cara Lagatare, of Hampstead. "It was informative, fun and quick."

Laurie Detzel brought her daughter, Daisy, 3, to meet the firefighters.

"I think it's good they come around and do a high five," said Detzel, of Manchester. "I hope she won't be scared of a firefighter in the event of a real emergency."

Nanny Paula Pereira attended the event with twins Ava and Addison Uhlman, both 3.

"I want them to learn a little more about fire safety," said Pereira, of Hanover, Pennsylvania. "It was very interesting because instead of just telling us, they brought their equipment and demonstrated what it's going to look like."


Oliver Dougherty, 18 months, was excited to receive a fire hat.

"He loves fire engines and I wanted to give him a chance to meet firemen and ladies," said Oliver's mother, Rachel Gurecki, of Hanover, Pennsylvania. "I think it's important to learn about fire safety. They did a great job and kept the kids engaged."

Kara Petrecca attended the event with her son, Titus, 16 months.

"It was lots of fun and very child-friendly," said Petrecca, of Finksburg. "The instruction was great and the firetruck was every kid's favorite."

Day care provider Rebecca Harris, of Hampstead, brought her charge Jimmy Marks, 3.

"He loves firetrucks and it's very important for kids to learn about fire safety," Harris said. "We do fire drills at day care once a month and this is a great way to reiterate the lesson."

If you go

What: Meet a Firefighter

When: 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 20

Where: Taneytown branch of the Carroll County Public Library, 10 Grand Dr., Taneytown

To register: Call 410-386-4510.