CHESTER — Members of the community were invited to visit the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department Saturday, Oct. 12. It was the first open house since moving to their current location in 2007 — although other community events have been hosted there.

With Saturday being the last day of Fire Prevention Week, it was a fitting time to bring in different agencies that have an effect on public safety, so the community could have interaction with them other than in during the course of an emergency, said 2nd Asst. Chief Paul Schlotterbeck. There were also a few big trucks, including a very large wrecker from Jess Jr.’s in Cambridge, so there was something for all age groups to look at.

Visitors were invited to check out the KIVFD “Smoke House” and learn what to do in case of a fire, take a tour of the station, watch an extrication demonstration, and learn “hands only” CPR. Earlier in the morning, Maryland State Police Cpl. Eric Pusey, Tfc. Sean Brown, and K-9 Guss gave a demonstration as well.

Unfortunately, the live fire demo was delayed due to an actual dwelling fire call. Firefighters said when duty calls the community’s safety is our number one priority. Volunteer firefighters left the open house to what was reported as a dwelling fire, but fortunately it was contained when the source of the smoke was located — a sump pump that had caught fire in a crawl space, reported Schlotterbeck.

The event was over by the time firefighters had cleared the incident, but the demonstration was completed and a link to the video posted by the fire department. The demonstration highlighted the difference that sprinkler systems can make in quickly stalling a fire, and also in reducing water damage from eliminating the fire. In modern homes, with many synthetic materials, there is only one to three minutes to escape from the fire, as shown in the video.

The department is planning to host a similar event next year and received a couple of new recruitment applications during the open house. Anyone interested in joining or learning more can email the station at

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