Kids get firefighting, rescue demos at Mattapoisett Open House

Oct 12, 2019

MATTAPOISETT — The Mattapoisett Fire Department pulled all of its trucks out on Oct. 12, but not for an emergency. This time, it was to make room for kids and families in the fire station garage, for the department’s Open House. 

In addition to prizes for the kids from the Fire Department and Friends of Jack Foundation, the day also included demos from Mattapoisett firefighters and the State Police Fire Investigation unit.  

The State Police division brought some of its canine investigators, which demonstrated to kids and parents how they would find accelerants and explosives and alert their owners. In one test for explosives, the specially trained black lab sniffed down a row of cans, ignoring food and cat hair to sit by the cans with traces of explosive residue.  

Mattapoisett firefighters first demonstrated how they rescue drivers if they are trapped in a car. Captain Jordan Collyer explained that first they stabilize the car, then take out the glass, then pry open and cut off the doors, and finally take off the roof. 

One child who was watching the demonstration loved seeing the glass windows shatter. “Smash it!,” he said.  

However, he seemed a little more confused with the efforts on the locked doors. “Why can’t they just open it?” he asked. 

As firefighters removed the car’s roof, Collyer quipped, “now we have a convertible.” 

After their first demonstration, firefighters set a fire in a wooden structure set up with couches to resemble a living room and extinguished it. 

Jim Harlfinger explained while the crew worked that fires can reach 500 and 1,000 degrees. 

He said that synthetic materials burn hotter and faster than their wood and natural counterparts did years ago. He also said the demo showed how fast a fire can spread once it starts.   

Fire Chief Andrew Murray, said that the event went well, and that he was “glad people came out.”