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Organized chaos as kids, adults check out emergency services open house in Kelowna

Kids were put to the test with a firefighting course

The Kelowna Fire Department held an open house and showcased its emergency partners on May 7.

Hundreds of adults and children came out to the old Kelowna Costco parking lot to check out the vehicles and equipment first responders use.

Assistant Fire Chief Mike Walroth said it was the first one back after the pandemic.

“We started the open house back in 2011 and we had a few of our partner agencies in the back parking lot of Station 1.”

The public response was big early on and the event has continued to expand.

On hand at the event was the Kelowna, Big White, and YLW fire departments. Kelowna RCMP, Emergency Health Services, Central Okanagan Search and Rescue, BC Wildfire Service, and the Salvation Army were also in attendance.

When asked why the fire department puts on an open house year after year Walroth said, “We want to teach kids what a firefighter looks like, what a police officer looks like, so if they need help in their house or they need help on the street they know who to go to. Someone in uniform is a friendly face and the younger you start the easier it is to keep that messaging.”

The open house was held from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Salvation Army served a pancake breakfast by donation with the money supporting the Kelowna Professional Firefighter Charitable Society.

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