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Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department readies for Fall Fest and Children's Safety Day

An obstacle course, photos with Sparky the Fire Dog, pumpkins, tours of the fire station, a raffle and more will be offered next week at the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department’s Fall Fest and Children’s Safety Day.

The free event takes place at the station, 5200 Southwestern Blvd., on Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 5-7 p.m.

The event coincides with the AVFD’s regular Food Truck Wednesday so food will be available from the food trucks. The final Food Truck Wednesday takes place Oct. 24.

The AVFD Auxiliary, which organizes annual event, tries to keep the evening as “cheap as possible for families,” said President Jen Gower.

“The fire safety stuff — we really like getting that out to children. We know that [events] can get expensive for families,” Gower said. “We keep the expenses for this to a minimum.”

Additionally, children can get fingerprinted and have ID cards made, participate in stop, drop and roll practice, and practice calling 9-1-1. There will also be carnival games and a “firefighter obstacle course” that involves rescuing a giant teddy bear from danger.

“It’s always been our mission, really, to get the word out to kids on how to protect themselves and protect their families,” Gower said. She said the event was also a good time to “remind the parents” to have fire safety plans, like having pre-planned escape routes and meeting places in the event of a fire.

The department is celebrating 80 years of service this year, and marked the occasion with a parade through Arbutus on July 13.

AVFD is also in the middle of its annual photo fund drive, where donors can purchase professional portrait sessions hosted at the firehouse. The fund drive is ongoing until December.

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