BELTON — Community members learned about the Belton Fire Department, health and safety issues, child car seat inspections, water safety awareness and health screenings at a Health and Safety Fair held Saturday at Station 2 on Sparta Road.
“If we help just one person, then it’s all worth it,” said Fire Chief Francisco Corona, who came to the Belton Fire Department 11 months ago after serving in Temple for 30 years. Representatives from fire departments in Harker Heights, Killeen, Temple and Waco also helped with the event.
Firefighters conducted tours of the fire station, provided an inflatable bounce house in an engine bay, and treated visitors to refreshments, face painting and photo opportunities with their mascot Sparky.
Park Ranger Thomas Wall from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presented water safety information.
“We service Belton and Stillhouse Hollow lakes,” he said. “It’s getting warm now, so we want to educate and remind people how to be safe on the water.”
One-on-one tutorials on the proper use and installation of child safety seats, booster seats, and proper safety belt use were available from certified CPS technicians.
“We go through a four day seat safety certification class including bookwork, installing, and we do checkup events,” said Brianna Green of Harker Heights Fire Department.
The Hillcrest Hospital Kid Save Program also advocated child passenger safety and injury prevention and helped with the safety seat checks.
“More than seven families came, and we checked over 21 car seats,” said Kid Save Program coordinator Gina Torres. “At least one out of three child safety seats are not installed right. Their misuse is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 14.”
The reigning Belton Miss Flame, Belton New Tech High School sophomore Mia Garcia, was on hand to meet and greet visitors. The Miss Flame contest is an annual pageant that promotes fire safety awareness.
Belton Volunteer Fire Chief Timothy Euting said the department is always seeking volunteers.
“All kinds of people can help in all kinds of ways,” he said. “We only have 10 volunteer firefighters, and we need more.”