Hundreds of children turned out to cool off at Laity View Elementary School as Maple Ridge firefighters hooked up their hoses for Hot Summer Nights on Wednesday.
Every Wednesday evening since July 13 Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue have been setting up at two locations in the city – one in the west and one in the east – create a makeshift water spray with a fire hose and host various activities for families to participate in.
The turnout so far has been very good, said Maple Ridge fire chief Michael Van Dop.
Van Dop, who was at that Laity View Elementary site, estimates there were more than 500 people at the event.
“It’s been very well received,” he said.
The week before Van Dop and his team were at Tolmie Park in Hammond, and, he said, there was probably more than 400 people at that event.
In addition to cooling off in the water, they are able tour fire trucks and participate in hands-on activities like operating a fire hose with the help of a firefighter.
People can also ask the crew about summer safety and fire safety, in general. The department also does a little bit of recruiting for the paid-on-call firefighters and hand out public information literature.
“Typically we are seeing between 400 and 600 people attending each location,” said Fred Armstrong with the City of Maple Ridge, adding that the city also participated in some special community engagement events where the bylaws, parks recreation & culture, police volunteers, and operations staff ambassadors were on site with the Fire Department.
“The events are just so much fun and it’s great for the kids to be able to get out and visit in their neighbourhoods. You could see school age kids meeting up with friends at each event and when the hoses were opened up the squeal of joy could be heard as the kids went into the spray,” Armstrong added.
There are three more dates in the Hot Summer Nights schedule.
On Aug. 3 crews will be at Alouette Elementary and at Country Lake, at 243 Street and 102A Avenue. On Aug. 10 they will be at Alexander Robinson Elementary, and at Jordan Park at 21020 117 Ave.. And on Aug. 17 crews will be at Albion Fairgrounds Waterpark.
Crews depart the firehall at around 6:30 p.m. and, once on site, the event usually goes until about 8 p.m..
However, Van Dop noted, they don’t have a fixed end time.
“Once the kids are soaking wet and had their fun, it’s kind of a natural end to it,” he said.
For more information go to mapleridge.ca/434/Hot-Summer-Nights.
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