What an extraordinary day in South Pasadena! The morning began with helicopters circling overhead as a dramatic procession of Color Guard, followed by South Pasadena Police vehicles and South Pasadena Fire Engines roared down Mission Street to start the day’s festivities. A powerful invocation was offered to the community by Fire Chief Paul Riddle and the Tournament of Roses Classic Car Show and the Police and Fire Open House officially began.
There were so many exciting things happening at both the Police Station and the Fire Station that it was hard to know where to go next; from the absolutely dramatic take-offs and landings of helicopters that people could then actually sit inside(!) to the Force Options Simulator, LA Kings hockey drills, fingerprinting in the police station, taking full station tours, taking a photo on a police motorcycle, sitting in a fire engine, watching incredible demonstrations of extinguishing fires, getting gear on in under two minutes, a full-scale fire call including scaling up a building and turning the hose on, to canine demos, all the cool vendors and of course the cool cars from Star Car Central including the popular Batmobile.
Chief Riddle said, “This is an outstanding event for us, it’s our chance as a community to come together and I’ve always been impressed with how this community comes together to support events, support each other.” He goes on to say, “this is an opportunity for us in public safety to remind our citizens that we cannot do what we do and provide the services that we do without their continued support.” Riddle explains that it’s a win win for the community in coming together with public safety officials to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters; how to respond and how to recover.
The Fire Department offers CERT training to prepare people for disasters and emergencies with the idea that in the event of a major disaster and fire, police and medical personnel are outnumbered by emergencies, that neighbors will be trained in basic life-saving skills. (The next training session begins Oct. 7) SPFD also works closely with FEMA and LA County as part of the area disaster management emergency preparation group. The Chief says anyone who wants information is welcome to come by the fire station anytime and your group or association can request a demonstration for example your classes or Neighborhood Watch.
Chief Riddle says, “one of the aspects of disaster management that people are not prepared for is the fact that they can be separated from their loved ones with no way to communicate with them.” Riddle advises to prepare prior to the event. “You should have contingencies in place such as a meeting point, supplies in your vehicle to survive for a certain amount of time and a person of contact, preferably out of state. A lot of times it’s easier to contact people out of state; for my family it’s my sister and we all know to call her to check in.”
Great advice! Thanks Chief Riddle and to all the men and women of the South Pasadena Fire Department, Chief Art Miller and all the men and women of the South Pasadena Police Department for putting together an informative, fun and thrilling day for us and for all you do every day to keep us safe.
For more information on CERT contact Kris Saxon at 626-403-7300 or email CERT@southpasadenaca.gov