Hundreds of residents packed the Bridgeport City Park on Tuesday for the city's second annual Kids Day. It's a way for the city to give back to the community while helping kids prepare for the unthinkable.
"I think it's pretty cool, a good way for kids to be prepared, like if something would happen, they'd know what to do, like contact the fire department. It's a good way to get kids interested in public safety," said Jacob Isner, 12.
That's exactly what the city of Bridgeport set out to accomplish by hosting Kids Safety Day. Several familiar "faces" in the community made an appearance, including Snowbird and Bridgeport's very own "SIDNEY."
"'SIDNEY' stands for Simulated Impaired Driving Experience. The officer is holding a remote that it won't go unless we control it, and it'll stop if we tell it to stop," said Officer Jamie Hamrick of the Bridgeport Police Department, who said it's never too early for kids to start learning about safety behind the wheel.
"You have to be paying attention constantly. It's not as easy as it looks, so when they are riding in a vehicle, they'll know we make them put on their seatbelts. They're getting older, they're getting more liberties, so I want them to understand that, with that, comes a lot of responsibility," said Hamrick.
"So that when you do it, you won't get hurt when you're driving when you're 16," said Olivia Spatafore, 10.
But it wasn't just "drunk driving" that had kids walking a thin line.
"Whatever that line is over there, I stunk at it. I'd never done it before," said Michael Rossana of Bridgeport.
The event also featured fire extinguisher training, child safety seat installation, and the Grafton Fire Department's K-9 unit.
"It's great to have the dogs exposed to the children, and the children see the dogs.They get to know each other and be friendly," said Jim Long of the Grafton Fire Department.
"So if they are lost in the woods, they don't need to be afraid of these dogs," said Kelly Marshall of the Grafton Fire Department.
Several parents echoed that sentiment, including Laura Dick, who said the event was a great resource for families to see what their community has to offer.
"He had a lot of questions about what do they do, what do they help us do, so I got to have a nice conversation with him about them saving people, rescuing people, and finding things to help the police," said Dick.
"I think it's a great inspiration to show kids how these firefighters do their jobs and saving people's lives," said Jacob Hacker, 13.
City officials are already planning a Safety and Preparedness Expo this fall.
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