HOOKSETT — Unlike most fire department open houses, which often focus on fire prevention and suppression techniques, the event planned tonight offers parents and children a hands-on look at life-saving measures.
The open house, part of National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hooksett Safety Complex at 15 Legends Dr. Among the many planned activities, Hooksett emergency responders plan hands-only CPR demonstrations, tours of the firehouse and also safety and life-saving equipment demonstrations.
“We’ve had other open houses throughout the year, but this is the first one we’re doing for EMS week,” said Hooksett Deputy Fire Chief Michael Hoisington. “This really focuses more on the medical side of what we do, as opposed to fire side.”
“I think this open house is really intended on bringing awareness to what we do,” said Hooksett EMS Captain Daniel Pesula. “I think a lot of people still think all we do is fire suppression, but in reality our jobs have really evolved over the last couple decades and a lot of what we do is providing EMS services.”
National EMS Week activities began last Saturday in Hooksett when paramedics joined efforts with Bass Pro Shops to hold a “hands-only” CPR presentation, part of an ongoing effort by Hooksett Fire and Rescue to educate local children.
“The past few years, we’ve generally tried to hit all the schools in town, since usually our main target audience is kids,” said Pesila. “We’ve already gone to one school to bring in equipment and provide demonstrations for each grade. We try to educate them and show them what happens if they ever have to go in an ambulance.”
Hooksett firefighters and paramedics plan to be at Cawley Middle School on June 3 in the morning and afternoon for classes and demonstrations. Seventh graders will receive hands-on CPR training. Though they won’t be certified, the skill may still prove valuable, added Pesula.