Our playgroup had a killer schedule of fun, educational and inexpensive dates each week this fall. One of our favorites was a tour of Boise City Fire Station No. 8 on Overland Road on the Boise Bench, which happens to be the second busiest station in the city. Most local fire stations offer free tours to kids and groups as a public service and let me tell you, they did a super job.
Of course, the kids all got a turn sitting in the drivers seat of the firetruck, which was a huge thrill and a great photo op for the moms.
A surprise highlight was a tour inside an Ada County Paramedics ambulance. We learned that there is an ambulance at each Boise fire station and that they go out on all calls with the fire truck. The paramedic showed the kids how the equipment and the gurney works and explained it all in kid-friendly, non-scary language. What a unique experience to be inside an ambulance in a non-emergency situation first.
The firefighters also dressed up in their full fighting gear to show the kids what they may look like should they ever see one in the case of a fire. This was such a great thing for the kids, I thought, because the guys in gear can be scary and intimidating, especially if you encounter one through smoke and fire.
Of course, we all loved watching them slide from the upper level where they sleep down the fire pole to the garage.
Besides their bedrooms and bathrooms, the upper level also contains a full workout room, so they can stay all firm and fit for their duties (and for the 2010 Idaho Firefighters Calendar which you can purchase now at all Boise and Meridian fire stations - OF COURSE WE ASKED.)
In addition, we saw their kitchen and learned about their unusual shifts, the types of trucks they use for each fire and interesting little tidbits like the fact that firetrucks do not require keys to start. The guys were full of helpful information and gave the kids bookmarks, stickers and bracelets at the end of the tour promoting fire safety at home. We were there a little over an hour and I have to say, I enjoyed it as much as the kids, and not only because the firefighters were cute. It was an educational and important experience for us all.