Open House Gives Families a First-Hand Insight into the Orion Fire Department


Open House Gives Families a First-Hand Insight into the Orion Fire Department

(Crystal A. Proxmire, October 16, 2022)

Lake Orion, MI – With the big red trucks, children and adults had big happy smiles at the Orion Township Fire Department Open House on October 8th. But an open house isn’t just about hanging out with firefighters and checking out their gear. “October is Fire Safety Month and it’s our way of getting the word out to the community,” said Fire Chief Rob Duke.

Duke said at the time of Oakland County that there were several lessons to be learned, such as teaching children to call 9-1-1 when they see a fire and not being afraid of lights and sirens, that first responders are there to help them. Chief Duke encouraged families to do fire drills at home, like students do at school, so they can know multiple exits and where family members should meet outdoors from home in an emergency.

There were tables with literature, smoke detectors, cider and donuts from Yates Cider Mill. Home Depot sponsored a craft zone, where families took the time to build a project together. And there was a fire safety house where kids could learn about home hazards, like playing with stoves or lighters. They have learned to crawl when there is smoke.

“Stop, drop and roll,” said six-year-old Alexis Dano when asked what she had learned in the fire safety house. “That’s how you put out the fire if it falls on you.”

Dano explored the open house with his friend Namoi Bassine, also six. “If someone is choking, you press on their navel,” Bassine recalls.

The girls got to crawl inside fire trucks, jump in a Dalmatian-themed bouncy house, and try their hand at using the fire department hose (with adult help, of course).

Four-year-old Mila Vlasenko was playing at a nearby children’s park with her father when they noticed the occurrence. “The sirens are loud,” Mila said. “But that’s how you know someone’s in trouble,” her dad replied. “And help is on the way!” replied Mila.

Chief Duke said even the basics like calling 9-1-1 are important to share and share often. “We all know that when there are problems we call 9-1-1, but how often do we tell the kids? ” he said. “It’s easy to take what we know for granted.”

The event also included a vehicle extraction demonstration, with firefighters explaining the challenges and safety considerations of breaking into a vehicle when the doors and windows are not working. Dozens of children and adults watched in awe as the team flattened car tires, smashed the car window, and used the life machine’s jaws to cut through the vehicle’s metal.

Duke thanked Captain Mitch Terrance who organized the Open House event. “It’s our first since COVID and it’s nice to see the kids out. Unless you call us for a fire or an accident, you usually don’t see us. So it gives us a chance to meet people from around the world. community,” said Terrance. In addition to the open house, the firefighters plan to make in-person visits to local schools to continue fire safety awareness.

Learn more about the Orion Township Fire Department at

For more things to do, visit the Oakland County Times events page!

To submit event information, email [email protected]

Thanks for Realtors Jim Shaffer & Associates for sponsoring this section!

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