The East Lyme Auxiliary of Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut and the East Lyme Parks and Recreation Department will co-sponsor our eleventh annual Touch A Truck event.
This family event will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at McCook Point Park in Niantic, CT. There will be a Horn Free Hour from 9 to 10 a.m. especially for the younger set and for noise-sensitive children. This year the event will feature fire trucks and fire safety. When Sally Myers, President of the E.L. Auxiliary, conceived of this theme, she was able to enlist the help of Steve Wargo, Niantic Fire Chief. In addition to providing a pumper truck and an ambulance from Niantic Fire Dept., he was helpful in obtaining the ladder truck from Flanders Fire Dept., and the Mystic Fire Dept. Smoke House Truck. He also arranged to have the Junior Fire Fighters of Niantic Fire Dept. staff the Smoke House Truck, which will demonstrate to the children what to do in case of a fire. Approximately 8-10 of these volunteers, ages 14-18, will be available to talk to the children and supervise their experience in the Smoke House Truck.
Mr. Wargo’s service to the community began when he was 15 years old. As a Junior Fire Fighter, Chief Wargo learned basic skills such as putting up ladders, changing air bottles, and other tasks to aid the firefighters. Even though the Juniors are not allowed to do anything hazardous and do not actually fight the fires, they are able to learn team work, to see what professional firefighters do, and to experience becoming community volunteers. As was true with Chief Wargo, these learning experiences often lead to a career in public safety. Mr. Wargo is now a Lieutenant in the N.L. Fire Dept. and the elected Chief in the Niantic Fire Dept.
Chief Wargo is eager to show the children that even though a person dressed in turnout gear may look scary, they should not be afraid of firefighters. He said, “I want them to know we are there to help and protect them. They should know that they can completely trust us.”
The Niantic Fire Dept. is always looking for both Junior volunteers and Regular volunteers. As the town grows, more and more help is needed to cover the requirements of our expanding community.
America has had a long tradition of firefighting and fire protection dating back a 100 years before Ben Franklin started the first fire company in Philadelphia. When the call comes for a fire or a medical emergency, the firefighters in the community rush in to save the lives of the elderly, defenseless children, and limited mobility people confined to beds or wheelchairs. These Firemen don’t just preach concern for others; they live it.