There used to be a question that went around a while ago – “Why are fire engines red?” A long-winded answer results with Finland, Russians, a pun on russin’ around and finally the red pops in.
I remember this because of the quirky logic that was involved. However last Sunday I had an opportunity to actually visit a fire station. Normally I do not think anyone actually visits a fire station. This however was different. It was an Open Day and all were invited to participate, see and feel the place.
It was very educative and a great show for the children. Next to being a pilot, commanding a fire truck seemed to be a very popular aspiration. There was a fully operational and ready fire truck with all the trimmings. Children took turns to sit in the driver’s seat and fiddle with the steering.
There were many books and pamphlets that were colourful, and talked about protecting yourselves from fire. Most interesting was the small game for the adults. A room full of fake smoke and the challenges was to locate a small woolen toy in the room. It really exposed you to the difficult situation firemen face when they approach a burning house.
All the necessary and heavy equipment that a fireman carried with him that was exhibited and it was evident that it is not an easy job being a fireman. Not only it was physically demanding but also required presence of mind and an ability to take quick decisions. It is really good to see children being exposed to the wider world as it were. I had written earlier on the visit to a post office. My school had arranged for a visit to a dairy, a dam but missed the bank, post office and the fire station.
Society needs some people. A fireman, the garbage collector, the sewer cleaner, high tension electrician to mention a few.