CHAMPAIGN – A fire engine rally and a fire department open house are planned this weekend to kick off National Fire Prevention Week.
On Saturday, the Champaign County Fire Chiefs are organizing a fire engine rally.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, firetrucks will travel from the 2000 block of South Philo Road to Florida Avenue, west on Florida to Vine Street and north on Vine to Illinois Street.
A showcase of Champaign County fire vehicles will then be presented from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Illinois between Race and Vine streets, near the Lincoln Square Village Farmers' Market.
On Sunday, the Champaign Fire Department will host a community fire station open house from 2 to 5 p.m. at the downtown fire station at 308 S. Randolph St.
Fire Department spokeswoman Dena Schumacher said the theme of this year's open house is "Passport to Safety."
Open house visitors will receive a passport to safety booklet and can get questions answered by firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians at booths representing "ports of call," including Ambulance Bay (Arrow Ambulance), Poison Peninsula (Illinois Poison Center/Carle), Hawaii Five-Know (Champaign Emergency Management Agency), No Fire Island (Champaign Fire Department), Bike's Peak (Champaign Police Department), the Readiness Railroad (American Red Cross) and Mount St. Extinguisher (Champaign Fire Department).
"This is the first time we have done something like this," Schumacher said. "We hope the community enjoys it."
Children between the ages of 5 and 9 can sign up to be the 2010 Fire Chief for the Day, and children can see Hot Shot, the fire department's smallest fire engine, present a song and dance routine.
The open house will also include tours of the fire station.
Light refreshments will be available.
National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 4-11.