February 9, 2014
Seminole Fire Rescue welcomed Heather Burford as their new Fire Chief less than one month ago. Today, she welcomed the community to the Seminole Fire Rescue open house which is now in its 22nd year. The open house was held at Station #29 which is located at 11195 70th Avenue.
Crowds gathered prior to the noon start time and assembled around the Seminole Firefighters Memorial wall. The wall contains a metal fragment which was recovered from the World Trade Center on September 11th along with names of those memorialized by the Department. The Color Guard stood at attention while the bagpipes were played.
The Department suffered the tragic loss of one of their very own only six days ago. At the age of 48, Lt. Frank Vento passed away on February 3rd. Chief Burford spoke of this loss and vowed to carry on with the spirit and enthusiasm that Lt. Vento epitomized. Chief Burford embraced and supported this annual event while discussing the importance of being a good neighbor. She encouraged the community to learn about what services the Department provides along with how and why they do what they do. She urged everyone to “Get to know us, before you need us.”
Jeremy Newton, President of the Seminole Professional Firefighters Local 2896, also welcomed the community to the open house. Members spoke of their dedication to serving the community being fully aware that one day their ultimate sacrifice may result in their name appearing on the Memorial.
Jim Quinn, City of Seminole council member, read that Sunday, February 10, 2014 shall be proclaimed the City of Seminole Fire Rescue open house day. The bay doors were then opened and visitors began to enter the numerous display areas.
Kids got to dress in bunker gear and learned to stay low while in smoky conditions. They got to run with fire hoses and actually practice spraying water as well. In addition, there were plenty of photo opportunities with Sparky the fire dog. Adults and children climbed inside the numerous apparatus for rides down 70th Avenue while the lights and sirens wailed. In addition, free food was provided as members of the Local 2896 worked to grill the hotdogs.
Late in the day, fire crews demonstrated how an injured patient may be extricated from a damaged vehicle. The visitors cheered at the ease and precision in which the crews worked cohesively to move one vehicle away from the other. Saws and multiple hydraulic tools were then used to remove the roof and doors from the damaged vehicle. The simulated patient was then placed on a backboard for transport to the hospital.
It was fun and educational for all. Hopefully, it rose to the highest level of both the spirit and enthusiasm that embodied Lt. Frank Vento. Rest in Peace….