Water rushing from a fire hose made entering Reynoldsburg Fire Station 162 a little wet and sloshy, but kids who manned the hose at the "squirt house" were all smiles at the Truro Township Fire Department's weekend open house.
Firefighter Richard Moore helped guide the hose and make sure it pointed at the squirt house -- facade of a burning house -- thus protecting any innocent bystanders.
"The squirt house demonstration helps kids understand some of our technique in putting out a fire," he said.
The Oct. 15 open house at Fire Station 162, 6305 E. Livingston Ave, included a MedFlight helicopter landing, police and fire demonstrations, tours of fire trucks and SWAT vehicles and the chance to sit on a police motorcycle or learn to "drag" a fire victim.
It also featured booths and representatives from OhioHealth, Mount Carmel EMS, Home Depot and other local organizations.
Battalion Chief Jeff Sharps said the open house offered an opportunity to engage with the community.
"We are a busy department, so it is hard to interact with the community as much as we'd like to, away from an emergency event," he said. "The open house shows people how we live and how we operate at the fire station."
SWAT officer Joe Danzey gave tours of the Reynoldsburg Division of Police SWAT vehicle.
"It's a chance for people to see the inside of a SWAT vehicle and some of the equipment we wear and use," he said.
One piece of equipment was a large and impressive "rogue ram."
"It opens the doors that won't open for us, Danzey said.
He said children need to know that even in an emergency situation, "we are the good guys."
"We don't want them to get scared when they see us," he said. "We aren't shy about waving to kids and trying to put them at ease, even if they are inside a house we have to get into."
Police Sgt. Mark Moser stood by a police motorcycle, demonstrating the siren and other features, while kids sat on the seat.
"Participating in these events is a great way to interact with the kids and the community," he said. "We want people to see us in a casual and fun way, not just in emergency situations."
Fire Station 162 is the second of Truro Township's two fire stations. Fire station 161 at 6900 E. Main St. is scheduled to be replaced by a new fire station sometime next year.
Voter approval of a 2.5-mill township levy in November 2016 provided funds needed to build the new fire facility, Trustee Mike Shirey said.
Shirey, a former township firefighter, said the new building will have updated safety features, including ways to keep carbon monoxide from entering the building.
The Truro Township department has 45 full-time firefighters and paramedics. It provides firefighting and emergency medical services to the city of Reynoldsburg, the village of Brice and Truro Township.