Fair teaches kids safety tips

By Sara Harris

Special for

The Inter-Mountain

From ambulances to fire trucks, police cars to search dogs, it was “all about the kids” at the second annual Barbour County Safety Fair.

“We just wanted to do something for the kids and get them involved in safety awareness,” said Dr. Cecil Holbert of the Myers Clinic. “We want to get kids used to the fire department and police personnel so that they won’t be afraid.”

The fair, held at the Barbour County Fairgrounds Saturday, started as a small idea – to provide a bit of safety education in a parking lot – but that seed of an idea soon blossomed. Plans are underway to make the fair bigger and better each year.

The event featured attractions for all ages. Senior Companions sold hotdogs and refreshments for lunch.

Bubby Isch, age 8, said that his favorite part of the day was seeing the fire trucks and getting to try on the gear.

When asked what he learned, his response was, “Being drunk won’t help you any.” Isch was referring to the drunk goggles simulator. Children were able to wear the special glasses and ride a three-wheel bicycle to see how drinking can impair one’s ability to function.

A total of 16 different stations were set up throughout the fairgrounds, each one teaching a different safety for the day. One of the most popular featured a visit from Buster the mini school bus, which interacted with the children and was able to talk to them about school bus safety.

The Grafton Fire Department had their Safety House on display for children to go through. This is a specially designed miniature house to show children different escape routes, should their house catch on fire.

Lt. Phil Ferguson of the Barbour County Sheriff’s Office said the day was just for the kids, to make them aware of law enforcement and fire departments and to learn about safety.

“With school starting soon, hopefully kids can remember what they have learned today and take it back to school with them.” Ferguson said. “On behalf of the Barbour County Sheriff’s Office, we would like to thank all of the agencies involved to make this day possible. We would also like to thank the families for bringing the kids out to participate and hope to see them all back next year.”

Mace’s Pharmacy had a test for children to take to see if they could tell the difference between medicine and candy by looking at pictures. It was not as easy as one might think, and the point was made for children to never put anything in their mouth unless a parent or guardian gives it to them.

Barbour County 911 Center representatives spoke to children about when and how to call 911. They also stressed the importance of having a meeting place in case their family would have to get out of the house in an emergency.

The event was made possible by the sponsors: Alderson Broaddus University, Barbour County Sheriff’s Office, the Belington Clinic, Broaddus Hospital, Mace’s Pharmacy and the Myers Clinic.