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M/PIFCD holds annual open house

October 30, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District celebrated its annual Open House at Station #1 on Saturday. Mosquito Control and Lee County EMS participated in the event.

"I'm really excited at the turnout this year," Fire Chief Ben Mickuleit said. "This is our sixth year and we have more people today than we've ever had before."

In addition to the pumpkin patch, there were events for the kids starting with the live smoke trailer where they learned the valuable lesson of what to do in case of a fire. There were fire truck demos and helicopter demos with Mosquito Control and Lee County EMS, plus fire truck rides.

Article Photos

Children ride a fire truck at the district’s open house.


The Pine Island CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) team was present. CERT members volunteer and are part of the disaster preparedness team that responds in the event of a disaster.

"The highlight is the live vehicle extrication held at noon," Mickuleit said. "This shows both adults and children what's involved in extricating people from an automobile accident. They start with flattening the tires, then break all of the glass. Then we get to demonstrate our new extrication equipment."

The youngsters were allowed to dress like a fireman by trying on some of the gear firefighters wear and also spray a real fire hose.

"I'm sure we have some future firefighters here today," Mickuleit said.

One of the demonstrations at the open house was from A thermometer was placed in a car to show how quickly heat rises inside a car on a hot day in Florida.

"On average, 38 children die every year because they are left alone in over-heated cars," Mickuleit said. "Many people don't realize how quickly a car heats up in the Florida sun. It takes only a few minutes before a child becomes overheated in an enclosed car."

The display showed the heat inside the demonstration car at 140 degrees within 30-45 minutes.

According to the number of deaths can be reduced from heatstroke by remembering to A.C.T.

A. Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you're not in it so kids don't get in on their own.

C. Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you're not following your normal routine.

T. Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

"We want the community and especially the children to know what the fire department is all about," Mickuleit said. "If we ever see them on a call we want to be familiar to them and we want the kids to know that we're here to help them."

Hot dogs were served with drinks and dessert.



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