Sparky the Fire Dog and Chase from Paw Patrol were on hand during the North Stormont Fire Services Open House held in Station 1 in Finch on Sat., April 27. Front row, from the left, Sparky the Fire Dog, Bradley Sullivan, Junior Fire Safety Ambassador for North Stormont and Marshall from Paw Patrol. Back row, members of the North Stormont Fire Services. Thompson Goddard photo

FINCH – North Stormont Fire Services held an Open House at Station 1 in Finch on Sat., April 27 that combined the opportunity to learn about fire services in the municipality with a spring barbecue and the chance to meet Sparky the Fire Dog and his friend Marshall from Paw Patrol – what a great way to spend a spring day!

In a recent press release, North Stormont Mayor Jim Wert commented the event “is aimed at raising public awareness and fire prevention, to meet local firefighters, check out fire trucks and equipment” as well as providing the public information on “smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, home escape plans and any other fire-related concerns.” North Dundas fire chief Dan Gauvin echoed Wert’s comments on how Fire Station Open Houses provide residents with the opportunity to meet the firefighters, “and tour the station that serves their homes and properties.” 

As the event wound down in the early afternoon, North Stormont public education officer Darren Lische commented how despite the weather, there was a good turnout at the event. During the Open House the Autism and Special Needs Fire Prevention and Response Awareness program was unveiled. Fire prevention officer Nancy-Ann Gauthier explained that this program will provide firefighters with training to enable them to “respond with the greatest level of support and dignity, when they encounter an opportunity to help someone with autism or special needs.”

Gauthier explained the program will allow residents to complete a form that will identify special needs in the home. Once completed, the form is provided to the dispatch office in Cornwall. In the future, if first responders are answering a call at an address where one of these forms has been completed, attendees will be made aware of any special need requirements for that home.

During the Open House, Canada Post presented Fire Station 1 a plaque showing the firefighter stamp issued by Canada Post in 2018, which was part of a series honouring the first responders who protect and serve their fellow citizens.