Fire prevention week kicks off with parade

By Alyssa Donovan

October 6, 2013 Updated Oct 7, 2013 at 2:08 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Fire prevention week kicks off with the Chief Del Thomas fire truck parade.

Chief Del Thomas has since retired from the Hudson fire department, but back when he started the annual fire truck parade in the early 80's, he only hoped every year would have a turn out like this one.

"I decided we ought to have a parade," Thomas said. "Get all these departments together and show off because this is fire prevention week."

About 20 trucks came out for Sunday's parade.

Thomas has passed the reigns onto his son, Assistant Chief Jeff Thomas of the Hudson fire department.

Jeff Thomas says the parade is a chance for department's to connect with the community.

"We get out here we pass out smoke detectors and fire extinguishers things like that so that we're trying to protect the public get them interested in it and get them to understand why they need to have this stuff," Thomas said.

Thomas says the hope is for younger kids to go home and ask their parents more questions about fire safety.

"They learn some of this at school but we want them to get interested and we want them to peak that curiosity so they can go back and ask about if there bedroom is up on the second floor how do they get out of the house if there is an issue," Thomas said.

More than 100 community members came out to meet their local heroes and remember those who have fallen in the line of duty.

Hema Gopi of Bloomington says her 2 year old son Achu likes fire trucks, but wants him to learn it takes more than that to be a firefighter.

"Firefighting is a symbol of bravery. It's also a symbol of the utmost service, not just to humanity but any living being. You are willing to put your own life in front of others to save them," Gopi said.

Gopi says we need to support firefighters and community servants who are always there to help us when we need them.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.