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Fire safety and fun in Black Creek
The Bryan County Fire Department, along with other agencies, held the third annual Public Safety Day Saturday at Hendrix Park in Black Creek recently to help promote public awareness.             "This event gives us a chance to educate the community about the importance of fire safety and to let everyone see the equipment," said Jim Anderson, director of Bryan County emergency services.            Activities included friendly competitions among the firefighters, such as bucket brigade, car extrication, tug of war between the officers and firefighters and a rapid dress contest. Smokey the Bear and Crash the fire clown made an appearance as well.             Rebecah Baker, a full time firefighter with Effingham County and volunteer captain with North Bryan, wore her clown uniform instead of the 50+ lb firefighter's uniform. The clown gear is part of an alternative teaching method funded primarily through homeland security.            "Sometimes children are afraid of a regular firefighter. Dressing as a clown puts me on their level and they will open up and respond to me when they may not to another officer. It helps us talk with them better and helps them understand more of what it is we are trying to teach them," Baker said.            "There's free food and drinks, some giveaways such as water bottles, stickers and coloring books for the kids, pencils, and safety pamphlets, and the chance to educate the community about fire safety," said Anna Anderson, paramedic for Bryan County and spouse of director Jim Anderson."The big thing is making sure the public is informed about the importance of fire safety. It also offers the firefighters a chance to participate in additional training exercises while showing those in the community what we do," she said.Pembroke resident Kimberly McGhee and her daughter Dyamond enjoyed their second year at the event. Dyamond "came to see the big truck," the new mobile command vehicle   The new mobile command unit was used to assist after the sugar refinery explosion, the Cobb tornado, has been to Georgia Southern for an exhibition. It also will make an appearance at the Richmond Hill Seafood Festival, and will be at Richmond Hill's Public Safety day on Oct. 25, Director Anderson said.At a cost of over $600,000, the only taxpayer expense involved to date is "the gas that's been put in to take it out," he said.The vehicle is equipped with exterior cameras, interior monitors, satellite, computer hook up and a communication center to assist in mobile operations.Public Safety Day takes place once a year in each end of the county. This was North Bryan's third year of participation, and fire fighter Gary Epperson's second year. Epperson, in training for search and rescue, has been a firefighter for more than 17 years as a volunteer and full time with Bryan County for the last year and a half."I enjoy this and would like to see more participation from the public," he said.            Rapid Dress Competition 1st Place: Daniel Anderson  Time 55 seconds2nd Place: John Culp, Time 1 minute 6 seconds3rd Place: Charles Hendley, Time 1 minute 33 seconds Bucket Brigade 1st Place with a time of: 2 minutes 27 seconds                         2nd Place with time of 5 minutes 8 secondsTeam Members                                                                        Team Members Amir Delic- Bryan County Fire                                              Gary Epperson-Bryan County FireCharles Hendley- Bryan County Fire                                     Mark Waters- Pembroke FireChris Davis- Bryan County Fire                                            Tom Wiley- Bryan County FireDaniel Anderson- Bryan County Fire                                     Patrick Anderson- Tattnall County Fire/RescueRebecah Baker- Effingham County Fire/Rescue                     Hannah Jenkins- Effingham County Fire/Rescue
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