NORTH CANTON  It’s been a tradition in North Canton for almost four decades and it still draws thousands of kids and families each year. The annual North Canton Fire Department open house was held over two evenings on October 10 and 12 this year. The fire house at 330 North Main Street was filled with kids trying on fire gear, learning about CPR and talking to firefighters and paramedics.

The event is held in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week which started on Oct. 9. This year’s theme was "Don’t Wait – Check the Date!" on your smoke alarms.

"Ten years is the recommended life span of a smoke alarm and six years for the COO detectors and the National Fire Protection Association wanted to get the news out to residents," North Canton Fire Department Capt. Gary Coen said. "We are seeing grandchildren of the kids we saw here over 30 years ago. The kids and the families have a great time getting inside the fire trucks and EMS vehicles."

The kids were able to hold the fire hose and aim it at a house-shaped target. There was also a demonstration using the jaws of life and metal cutting scissors on old car to show how rescue officers can open a jammed car door.

There were many local vendors inside the fire station, including Mercy Medical Center, Aultman, Safe Kids Safe Communities, North Canton YMCA, the North Canton Police Department and the Jaycees among others. And, there were free refreshments.