This post originally appeared on the AVFRD The Alternate Channel Blog on 6/1/2014.

The Open House was held on Sunday, May 18, 2014 from 12:30 to 3:45pm at Lansdowne Station 22.  This Open House focused on Emergency Medical Services, as it does each Spring.

There were so many vendors and exhibits that it is hard to pick a personal favorite.  One of my favorites was the Stranger Danger station.  Karate experts from Ashburn Top Kick, in full black belt dress, gave the kids an interactive lesson on what to do when approached by a stranger.  They were taught to yell “NO!” and “LEAVE ME ALONE!”.  After listening to the karate masters talk about Stranger Danger, the kids were each given the opportunity to karate chop a board into two pieces.  Each child then took their broken boards home as a souvenir of the lesson.  I’ve never seen so many kids so excited about learning and so intent on the lesson.  

Another of my personal favorites was the Staying Alive station, where kids and parents were taught to give hands only CPR to the tune of the Bee Gee’s song “Staying Alive”.  The lesson incorporated the beat of the music to the rhythm of the chest compressions.  The music made the CPR lesson fun and easy to learn and remember.  CPR mannequins were laid out on the floor for easy practice along with the music.  Every time I wandered past the Staying Alive station, neighborhood families were having fun to a crazy beat.  

I had the opportunity to spend some time at “Shoot The Hose” during the afternoon.  Each child was given a chance to hold the hose with a firefighter and aim at a wooden (kids’ sized) house, while wearing a kids’ sized fire helmet.  I’ve never seen bigger smiles, as these kids got to act as firefighter and put out pretend flames.  I should mention that the “big” firefighters were all smiles, too; clearly enjoying the fact that the kids were so excited.  What a wonderful group of people we have at Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department! 

I also had the opportunity to man the Face Painting Station for a few hours.  I painted many butterflies, fairy princesses, and ponies on little faces.  The boys seemed to favor black mustaches and beards, along with skulls and crossbones.  Oh to be young again! 

 Ambulance tours, climbing on the fire trucks, macaroni jewelry making – and ice cream, popcorn, and hot dogs – helped to make it a fun filled afternoon for the kids and adults, alike. 

What made this year’s Open House the best ever?  I guess it’s one of those things that you really need to experience for yourself first hand.  Watch for news of the October Open House in the Fall and don’t miss a fun filled learning experience for your whole family. 

Many thanks to Christina Hutto and Barbara Murphy for all their hard work and wonderful coordination of this event.  I had more fun than the kids!!