Paul Melvin, a Catonsville career fireman who also serves as a volunteer with the Arbutus department, explained the role of each part of a firefighter's uniform as he put it on, from his steel-toe boots to his hat and respirator.
Everything, he said, has to be zipped, snapped and closed with Velcro in place in two minutes.
"A lot of kids get so scared," Melvin said, of the imposing looking uniform. "We want them to see what it looks like so if there happens to be a fire, they won't run from us."
The festival provided a fitting conclusion to Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13.
Several classes toured the fire house throughout the week, and firefighters visited local schools, Melvin said.
"It's not about getting a paycheck," Melvin said on being a firefighter. "When you have a kid tell you you're a hero, that's the best thing in the world."
Arbutus was not the only area volunteer fired department that offered special educational activities during Fire Prevention Week.
Students at Baltimore Highlands Elementary School, for example, learned about fire prevention and safety thanks to a weeklong program in conjunction with the English Consul Volunteer Fire Department.
Firefighters brought the unit's safety trailer to the school on Annapolis Road for the week for students in each grade level to visit.
Kindergarten students also visited the fire house at 2827 Michigan Avenue to learn from firefighters about fire prevention and safety, view antique fire department items, learn about different types of extinguishers, try on the firefighters' gear and receive fire prevention and safety materials.
Students and older residents were also invited to visit the department's social hall and fire house to learn tips about fire prevention and safety during the week.