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Emergency workers plan weekend event

BURLINGTON – Wal-Mart’s parking lot will look like an accident scene Sept.

Friday, September 17, 1999

BURLINGTON – Wal-Mart’s parking lot will look like an accident scene Sept. 25 as firefighters, ambulance crews and police converge to help crash "victims."

The HealthNet Aeromedical helicopter will hover overhead while firefighters use the Jaws of Life and emergency medical teams treat patients, said Mike Boster, deputy director of the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency.

Yet there will be no emergency.

That Saturday’s mock crash scenario will be a small part of activities planned for Lawrence County Health and Safety Expo and Awareness Day, Boster said.

"Generally, the public does not come into contact with these agencies unless there is a fire, they need a police officer or have a medical emergency," he said.

"Parents should use this opportunity to introduce their children to the people who help them when they are faced with an emergency."

The last safety day held by the county happened in 1995, and Boster hopes the EMA can make it an annual event.

A day to interact with public agencies helps people understand how emergency services work and puts both sides into close contact so that those needing help in the future can realize what’s going on, Boster said.

The safety day also will give firefighters, ambulance crews, hospitals, police and more than 30 other protectors of the public the opportunity to show their skills, he said.

"We ask people to support us, but they don’t see what’s involved to make (emergency agencies) operate."

Nine fire departments from around the county will demonstrate everything from a rope rescue and 911 call simulations to how fire extinguishers and ladder trucks work.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department will demonstrate its K-9 unit’s drug dog.

The Lawrence County Local Emergency Planning Committee will have information about hazardous material safety.

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service will host communication demonstrations.

"We will have everything from blood pressure checks to a bike rodeo," Boster said.

The rodeo, sponsored by Lawrence County Emergency Services, State Farm Insurance, Extension/4-H, Wal-Mart, Wendy’s and SEOEMS includes a bike give-away drawing.

The safety day will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features activities highlighting emergency services highly-trained crews and volunteers, such as:

– Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Service ambulance tours, equipment displays and patient care demonstrations.

– Ohio Highway Patrol cars and the sheriff’s department’s water patrol boat. (The department’s Splash Test Dummies will also be at the expo.)

– Collins Career Center criminal justice class information, puppet show and fingerprinting.

– Wayne National Forest and Smokey Bear talking about fire safety.

– River Valley Health System’s KidCare ID photos and ID booklets and a cholesterol screening from 9 a.m. to noon, which requires a 12-hour fast prior to the test.

– King’s Daughters’ Medical Center’s child safety seat checks.

– Ironton-Lawrence County CAO Medical Centers with blood pressure screenings, door prizes and balloons.

Other agencies with displays and activities include the American Red Cross, the Lawrence County Floodplain Management Program, the CAO Family Guidance Center and the Chesapeake Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol.

Lowe’s Home Center will serve as a location for blood pressure checks. Sam’s Club, Wendy’s and SuperAmerica also contributed to safety day activities.