Salem Fire Department Annual Open House Celebrates Fire Prevention Week

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

Oden Corbett, 5, tries on some child-sized firefighter’s gear.  He proudly posed for the picture in his full get-up.

The grilling was great, and suited up firefighters kept the lid on the flames last Sunday at Salem Fire Department’s Annual Open House event.  Children of all ages were dancing to live music provided by local rock cover band Rock of Ages, and the kids especially liked climbing in and out of the many fire/rescue vehicles put on display for the public’s up-close-and-personal enjoyment.

The large crowd who came out to celebrate with Salem firefighters enjoyed the various demonstrations featuring the active work of Salem firefighters.  The crowd watched in amazement as two separate demonstrations focused on the use of extrication tools.  In the first scenario, a vehicle had victims trapped due to door damage, and the process of removing doors from a vehicle was shown.  In the second scenario, the top of the car was cut and lifted up by a team of firefighters.  Salem Fire also demonstrated how firefighters tackle a large propane-induced blaze by using a “propane tree” to show how powerful a fueled fire is and how a team of firefighters carefully approach and extinguish it quickly.  A car was also torched from the inside to show how quickly a car will ignite and how firefighters knock down the blaze.

The demonstrations are always a hit with the kids, but so are the children’s activities.  Children eagerly lined up for face-painting, free raffle tickets, ice cream, popcorn, and also to try on firefighter gear.  The Salem Fire Department’s fire safety trailer, which teaches common household fire hazards and how to carefully escape a fire, was full of interested children throughout the event.

Food was provided to the public at no charge, courtesy of Kev’s Country Store, Weathervane Restaurant, and The Meathouse.

Salem Fire Department’s Open House kicks off Fire Prevention Week, which runs from October 5 to 11.  This year’s theme is ‘preventing home fires.’  Salem firefighters will be visiting all of the elementary schools throughout the month of October as part of the annual celebration.

Using a propane tree, Salem firefighters show how powerful and hot a fueled fire is, and how they carefully knock it down.

Salem firefighters show how a vehicle fire is put out.

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Blessing of Pets at St. David’s

St. David’s Episcopal Church, 231 Main Street, held a ‘Blessing of the Animals’ to a full crowd of pets, both dogs and cats.  The Reverend Carolyn Stevenson and several of her friends held the ceremony, from elephant-sized dogs all the way to tiny, hairy little guys.  There were also several cats from cages to actual leased furry friends.

“Blessed are You, Lord God, maker of all living creatures.  We thank You, most loving God, for the beauty and the diversity of all of your creation.  Blessed are You, Lord, our God, in all your creatures!  Amen.”

Softly spoken words and slow moving pats were given to all of the animals.  A small child, Paul, also had his stuffed animal blessed by Reverend Carolyn, and she treated it as special as the rest of the pets.  This was a special day, probably more for the owners than the pets — just another way Reverend Carolyn passes a deep faith in religion to the public.  Good job!

To get in touch with Carolyn, go to Saint David’s across from Kelley Library in Salem.

Paul even gets “Cat” blessed.

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Soule Newspaper

Anthony, Allie, Kalie and Dylon working on sports and comics

The Lewis Soule School on 173 South Policy St., Salem, has its students from grades 4 and 5 starting up a school newspaper.  This is an endeavor of many students, with the requirement that if a job is incomplete the paper won’t go to print.  The Soule Times is made up of many parts: comics, interviews, advice column, sports, poetry, current events, surveys, games, book reviews, and qualifying stories.  Mrs. Cherie Smeltzer is in charge of keeping the students on track and following the schedules for production.  This work is done on Mondays and Fridays in the library during recess.  The paper also involves some work being finished outside of class.  This was a project that the kids wanted to do, and they were able to pick ‘post-it’s as their topic of interest on a bulletin board.  All parts of newspaper and business work are being learned on a level that motivates these students without putting on too much pressure.  Teams helping teams writing on various topics, computer work, and interviewing — all being done for the final goal of producing a great newspaper in a timely manner.

Brin Harper volunteered to do the first interview with the Superintendent of Schools, Michael Delahanty.  She did an excellent job asking close to two pages of questions, many having to do with the Salem kindergarten situation.  Her questions were well-thought, and she seemed to surprise Mr. Delahanty with her professionalism.  When her interview ended, Brin continued to have an adult chat with the superintendent.

The students of Soule filled out applications for this newspaper job, brainstorming their ideas and showing their writing skills.  This is a project that will take many months with many areas of learning being applied.  This is a classroom idea that hopefully will occur many times in the future, many even in the other Salem schools.  Good job, 4th and 5th graders!

Brin Harper interviewing Michael Delahanty, Superintendent of Schools

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Ethel Kennedy Visit

Mrs.Kennedy with grandson, Matt, giving closing thoughts

On Saturday, October 4, Salemhaven was blessed with a visit from Ethel Kennedy, the widow of the late Robert F. Kennedy, to campaign on behalf of Senator Barack Obama.  She campaigned alongside her grandson, Matt Kennedy, who currently works for the Obama campaign in Manchester.  Salemhaven was so excited with this visit.  Many of these residents remembered Jack and Bobby Kennedy, so this was almost like a family reunion.  Deloras Guidry arranged for a large bouquet of flowers to be given to Mrs. Kennedy, as it was very important to many of the women at Salemhaven that she not be given the usual T-shirt.  She was highly respected as a “real lady” and only the best flowers were appropriate.

When Ethel Kennedy arrived, she took time to visit with everyone who was waiting for her in the lobby.  There were handshakes, quiet touches, and general good feelings between everyone present.  Ethel is a very small, pretty lady with the ability to come across a lot bigger than she really is.  Her grandson Matt was always at her side, giving handshakes and many kind words as well.

When Ethel endorsed U.S. Senator Barack Obama, Kennedy wrote, “Barack is so like Bobby…With courage, caring, and charisma, Senator Obama is leading us toward a kinder, gentler world.”  Ethel says she supports Senator Obama because he has the same commitment to the country that her husband Robert Kennedy did.  This event was free and open to the public.  Nice job, Salemhaven!

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