GOLDEN'S BRIDGE, NY — The annual Community Day at the Golden's Bridge Fire Department was forced to skip last year because of the pandemic, but it didn't miss a beat when the much-anticipated event with the country-fair-like atmosphere returned Saturday for the first time since 2019.
Nearly 380 residents dropped by the Golden's Bridge Firehouse during the four-hour-long event. The attendance figures include 172 children, who delighted in picking their own pumpkins from the GBFD's overstocked pumpkin patch, knocking down faux flames while shooting water from a real fire hose, crawling through "smoke-filled" rooms of the Mohegan Volunteer Fire Association trailer to escape a "fire," and a few less adrenaline-provoking craft sessions.
All children received a goodie bag of sidewalk chalk, drawing markers, soap bubbles, stickers and a fire truck cookie cutter — plus other giveaways that included a make-at-home craft donated by the Brewster Home Depot, activity books, crayons, frisbees and school supplies.
"We were close to running out of goodie-bags, but all 172 children left with one — and we were even able to give them a gift bag for their siblings who couldn't make it to our Community Day event because of a soccer game or other sporting event," Golden's Bridge Fire Chief Al Melillo said. "While it was a day of fun, food, entertainment, demonstrations and activities that brought together the community at the Golden's Bridge Firehouse, it was also a reminder of the important message of fire safety during National Fire Prevention Month."
The event, where everything was free, included Golden's Bridge firefighters demonstrating a gripping rope bailout from a second-story window and a dramatic live-burn of a small house structure. A minutes-long flyover by a Westchester County Police helicopter was a big hit with the skyward-peering crowd.
A demonstration by the Lewisboro Police and their K-9 Unit Zane and a New York State Police vehicle-rollover simulation demonstrating the importance of wearing seatbelts rivaled the midway attractions at the biggest county fairs. The Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps was also on hand providing blood pressure screenings.
Including the Golden's Bridge firefighters, nearly 50 first responders from town, county and state agencies participated at the event.
Volunteers manned the grill to make more than enough hamburgers and hot dogs for all. The outdoor tables were arranged with the season in mind. Trays and bowls filled with individually wrapped snacks and cookies, Halloween candy, apple cider and donuts kept attendees well-fed, as well as entertained.
Everyone in attendance received a free raffle ticket, with 20 winners walking away with prizes that included kitchen fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and gift cards.