JACKSON TWP.  The annual Jackson Township Safety Center Open House is always a favorite thing to do for residents on an early October Sunday afternoon. Families came from around the township and the county on Oct. 6 to see live demonstrations by the fire and police departments.

One of the favorite activities include kids and their parents getting an up-close look inside safety vehicles such as fire trucks, police SUVs and ambulances. They got to see special equipment used by both departments. In the past few years, one of the main attractions was a search activity by the K9 officer Ruger with Patrol Officer Tim Rice.

Last year, Rice was recovering from a knee surgery so he and his K9 partner, Ruger, were out of service. But they were both back this year.

“Ruger has been with us for three years now,” Rice said. “We’ve been on hundreds of calls during that time. The results have been amazing in searches and apprehensions.”

There was a table setup for fundraising for Ruger. Some of his costs include insurance, continued training and food. If anyone would like to donate, call the Safety Center at 330-832-7416 and ask for the K9 unit.

Kids were also able to try on fire gear, spray the fire hose and talk to a firefighter wearing his full gear. And, there were plenty of refreshments to go around with free hot dogs and popcorn.

One of the new activities this year was Fire Inspector Tim Coppock who was demonstrating how to put a fire out with a fire extinguisher. He was lighting a fire inside a metal pan in the parking lot and then helping participants to use an extinguisher to put the fire out.

“I tell them when they start to feel the heat is when they should press the nozzle,” Coppock said. “Then its best to sweep the extinguisher back and forth to coat the fire and put it out. Commercial extinguishers are best for wood, electrical wires and petroleum type fires.” 

The parking lot of the Safety Center was parked full of fire vehicles, including the ladder trucks. Plus, Sparky the Fire Dog, was meeting and greeting kids and their parents throughout the afternoon. The event is held annually for township residents to come in and speak to the firefighters and police officers and learn about the trucks and equipment.

The event is held during the National Fire Prevention week. It is held every year during the week of Oct. 9th to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire and to bring awareness of how to prevent blazes.