• 55°

Fire parade puts emphasis on safety

ROME TOWNSHIP — The Fairland Youth Football League won its battle with West Saturday, so the coach, Brian Taylor, thought of a special treat to reward his young men.

Taylor, who is also a lieutenant with the Proctorville Volunteer Fire Department, invited the young athletes to ride on the department’s show piece, a 1953 fire truck known as the “Screamin’ Demon,” in the annual Rome Township Fire Prevention Parade.

If the parade was a gift for hard work, it was also a platform for frolic and maybe some team camaraderie.

“I’m going to dance and be funny and throw candy to people,” Taylor’s 11-year-old so, Zach, said as he sat waiting for the parade to begin.

Fellow player B.J. Adkins said he might throw some candy or bubble gum, but said he might like to eat it himself instead.

Rome Township Fire Chief Mike Boster said while the parade was a fun and much-anticipated community event, it was more importantly a reminder about safety.

“It’s to make people aware that with winter weather about to set in, people should use care when heating their homes and doing other things that come with cold weather, such as putting up Christmas lights. Being fire-safe depends on the actions we take,” Boster said. “We need to be ready as a family to stay safe from the dangers of fire.”

Among the couple dozen entries in the parade was Brittany England, this year’s fire parade queen. For the Fairland senior, this day, with its sunny skies and pleasant fall breeze, was a childhood dream come true.

“I always wanted to be fire queen, ever since I was about five,” she said. So she campaigned amongst her fellow Fairland students and won her crown and a chance to ride in the parade. England’s father, Scott, is a Rome firefighter.

Just ahead of England, Lauren Bowman helped her daughter, Amy, place a sign on a yellow sports car she would use during the parade. The younger Bowman is this year’s freshman attendant in the parade

”I’m looking forward to it,” she said.

The parade has been an yearly event in Rome Township for at least four decades.