A crowd of Riverside residents gathered around the municipal auditorium in downtown Riverside Oct. 20, as firefighters rappelled down the side of the building.
Booths, firetrucks and other emergency vehicles lined the street in front of Riverside’s old fire station, as the city held its fourth annual Public Safety Expo in honor of National Fire Prevention Month.
The state of California has experienced 5,322 fires and burned more than 620,000 acres since the beginning of 2018, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
This includes the Mendocino Complex fire in Northern California, which burned more than 459,000 acres and broke the record for the largest fire in California state history.
Michael Moore, the city of Riverside’s fire chief, said it is more important than ever to promote fire safety.
“We wanted to promote what we do to the community to give a sense of trust,” Moore said. “The community is a part of us and we want to promote fire prevention and safety and show you how you can be safer in your homes.”
Among the booths at the expo was MySafe: CA, an organization created to provide fire and life-safety information in California. MySafe teaches a variety of workshops including hands-only CPR which was highlighted at the expo.
Hands-only CPR is CPR without the breaths.
“We want everyone in California to know what to do if they see someone collapse and isn’t breathing,” said Cameron Barrett , director of MySafe. “The point of hands-only CPR is to keep the person alive until help comes and so people don’t have to remember how many breaths they’re supposed to do.”
The expo featured demonstrations ranging from an audience-participated fire extinguishing to vehicle extrication, to lighting a car on fire and then putting it out with a giant hose.
Riverside resident Alyssa Thompson, a nursing major at Riverside City College and audience member who participated in the fire extinguishing demonstration, said she had never used a fire extinguisher before.
“You really feel the force of the fire extinguisher, which I didn’t expect,” Thompson said. “It was really awesome and actually kind of fun.”
The next event is the free Fire Station Open House Oct. 27, at stations 2, 3, 4 and 7 where guests can tour the fire station and meet their local firefighters.