SPRINGFIELD TWP. For the Yeboah-Amankwah family – Ebony and children Emma, 7, David, 5 – spending the day with the Springfield Firefighters was a day they won’t forget.
For mom and the kids – dad Asuama could not make it – it was a fun filled day as Springfield firefighters adopted a family for a day and showed them the ins and outs of the job.
Ebony had attended an Akron Children’s Museum event and won a day with the firefighters though a silent auction.
The founders of the museum, Betsy Bare Hartschuh and Ryan Harschuh, had attended high school with firemedic Michael Marias of the Springfield Fire Department. Marias said when they were planning the event, another classmate Melissa Apple Fashinpaur contacted him and asked if there was anything the Fire Department would be able to do that could be auctioned at the fundraiser to raise money for the museum.
“I was excited and honored to have been asked and told her that I would definitely see what we could do. With approval from Captain Steve Simich to put something together, we planned for a 'Firefighter for a Day Experience,'" Marias said. "One lucky family that bid high enough would win a Firefighter for a Day Experience at Springfield Township Fire Department.
“We are proud to do our part to help such a great cause,” Marias added.
The family spent the day at the fire station and participated in a variety of activities.
Ebony said the fire safety information was valuable. They learned what they should have in their house such as a fire extinguisher, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector. The firemen talked about safety using the oven, candles and more.
She said the tour of the station was interesting as they saw where the firefighters cooked, ate, slept and learned more about the men themselves, including the fact that many have part-time jobs working for other departments.
The family learned about the water tanker, the different jobs each truck does, and how the trucks function as a fire station at a fire. They learned about the protective suits and equipment firemen wear. The kids learned all about the different equipment then had a thrill when they got to ride in the fire truck.
While making dinner, the team was called out for an emergency. When they came back, they hosted the family for Sunday dinner.
“We had a fireman’s family style dinner with the team,” said Ebony, who said the meal was spaghetti, garlic bread and salad. “It was so nice of them, they got an ice cream cake for the kids to welcome them to the station and thank them for coming,” she said.
“From the looks on their faces, I’d say they had a fun visit," Marias said.
“It was a wonderful experience,” said Ebony. "The firemen were so fantastic. We had a nice time and the kids still talk about it.”
The favorite part for the family was riding in the fire truck and having dinner with the firemen.
Ebony said it is important to support your local fire department in any way that you can. Those men and women are doing an incredible job. They rely on community funding that is often sparse.
“It is a benefit to having your local fire department,” she said.
On shift that day were firefighters Bruce George, Danny Chapman and Dane Zickefoose.
“I know all of us enjoyed having them,” said Marias, adding that the family also went home with fire safety swag bags filled with fire safety activity books, crayons, a pencil pouch with ruler and eraser, firefighter stickers and, of course, a fire safety fire helmet.
“We look forward to seeing this lovely family again at our third annual fire department Food Truck Festival on The Lake on Aug 10," Marias added.