Emergency Preparedness Committee – 4th Safety

Don’t Shoot the Messenger
As you read this on the eve of our 4th of July weekend celebration, I don’t want to take the sparkle out of your fun and expectations. However, I hope you’re planning on enjoying watching firework’s displays put on by the experts, and not on your lawn or street in front of the house.
As a kid growing up in Central Illinois, the 4th of July was a close second to Christmas for me. We had our celebration every year at a family lake with all the traditions swimming, games, grilling, and the much anticipated fireworks.
HOWEVER, as the guys grew older and smarter(?), we convinced some of the Dads to let us go up the creek with some lady fingers, firecrackers, and even sneaked a few M-80s.
They’re the equivalent of a small stick of dynamite!!
Everyone survived and managed to count 10 fingers and 2 eyes by the end of the day, but not without some close calls. As I got older and wiser(?), when we had our own two children, I didn’t allow that same practice with them, but they still had a (BLAST) waiting for the 4th celebration and watching firework displays put on by the experts.
Every year Emergency Room visits number in the thousands related to fireworks incidents. And, they aren’t just children but parents too. The National Fire Protection Association also reports thousands of structural fires causing millions of dollars in damage.
But wait, you say, we can buy some fireworks legally, so what’s wrong with that? Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and neighborhood gatherings with sparklers in hand. How many of us didn’t love at least waving sparklers around when we were kids? WELL, they burn at about 2,000 degrees—hot enough to burn metals, not to mention fingers, toes, and can quickly ignite clothing. OK, I’m done. Just give the comments above a second thought as we all enjoy a FUN & SAFE 4th of July. See you at the breakfast, parade, games, and the beach.
—Kent Wellbrock

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