Public Safety Open House in Naperville showcases safety and service

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Firefighters, police officers, special ops teams, and other first responders gathered on Saturday for the Public Safety Open House in Naperville.

Showcase of safety and service

The annual event is a showcase of safety, and service.

“We look forward to this day every year. We’re able to share with the community the resources that we have, what we do for the community in a variety of ways, not just firefighting, but our special teams, extrication, water safety, water rescue,” said Naperville Fire Department Chief Mark Puknaitis.

Demonstrations a big part of the day

Public safety vehicles were on display, allowing community members to get an up-close look. There were also demonstrations throughout the day, including a typical DUI traffic stop, tasering, a water rescue, and a realistic simulation stressing the importance of fire safety in the home.

“The big event for the day that we always do is the burn rooms. We do one that is a sprinkler-protected room and one that’s unprotected. So we show you the difference of what a fire sprinkler does in your house and what happens when you don’t have a fire sprinkler, and how quick a fire grows, and the importance of having working smoke detectors, and why it’s important to get out of the house and react when they go off” said Andy Winckler, a firefighter/paramedic with the Naperville Fire Department.

There was also a special visit from the air.

“We also have…a helicopter that comes in and lands, so we can tell everybody what we do in the event that we have a traumatic situation where we have to bring in other resources, how we land those resources and how they coordinate their activities with us,” Puknaitis said.

Wide range of public safety services 

The Public Safety Campus at 1380 Aurora Ave. was filled with different groups who spoke with the public about other aspects of safety.

“We also have so many partners in the community that join together and talk to us about safety, fire safety, electrical safety, natural gas safety, safety in the home,” said Puknaitis.

Chance to chat one-on-one with first responders

The event offered a chance for those young and old to learn more about the important work done by the city’s first responders, while learning more about what they can do themselves to help stay safe.

“It’s in a calm, relaxed setting. It’s not an emergency. So they can ask us questions about fire safety, how to use fire extinguishers, why they should have smoke detectors in the house. And we just love telling people all the stuff about that so that they can just be safer day to day,” Winckler said.

“We pride ourselves on this Public Safety Open House. We build on it every single year and make it a little bit better. And on a day like today, that’s perfect weather, we’ve seen thousands of people come through our doors here today and really interact with our firefighters and police officers in a way that they don’t get a chance to do on a, on a daily basis,” Puknaitis said.

Videographer: Marcel Francis

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