Brookfield Safety Awareness Night returned Oct. 26 after a two-year, COVID-related hiatus in a new venue, but with a good turnout and an enthusiastic crowd.
“There was a lot more than I thought,” said Erin Phillips, who had never attended Safety Night before.
“Very delightful for the kids,” she said. “I got quite a lot of information about, like, the library, the fire department. The kids got a lot of candy, and now they’re having fun painting pumpkins.”
Those painting pumpkins included her kids, Erianna, 7, and Timothy, 6, and a friend, TiMya, 13.
Safety Night is a free community event that traditionally has been a collaboration of the township police and fire departments, and held in the township social hall and fire station. This year, Safety Night was moved to the Brookfield Local School District building, which organizers said offered more space for exhibitors and for demonstrations and presentations.
Exhibitors included county and state agencies offering information about their services, and Brookfield service organizations and societies and school groups promoting their organizations, running activities and giving away candy, first-aid kits, pencils and other swag.
“It was really nice that they were handing out the Narcan kits, the COVID tests, stuff that people actually need,” said Erin Saffle, another first-timer, who was with her 7-year-old son, Dominic. “Usually, you just get a bunch of pens and magnets, but it was nice that they handed out usable things that you need in life.”
The school auditorium was used for breakout sessions, such as Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management District Director Jennifer Jones explaining what can and cannot be recycled, and K9 SOS’s Kathy Ferrara and Chris Gantler demonstrating the skills of their search dogs.
“It’s nice to see this many organizations and this many people involved,” said Jesse Baughman, Ohio fire marshal safety educator, who presented kitchen safety tips with a stove and oven simulator.
Newly hired Brookfield full-time firefighter Carly Jackson said she enjoyed getting to meet more of the people she now serves.
“I think it went very well,” she said. “There was a lot of turnout, a lot of questions about the smoke detectors and that kind of stuff. The kids enjoyed the fire helmets, of course.”
Police Chief Dan Faustino said the agencies who had been to past Safety Nights liked the change of venue, and organizers want to hold future Safety Nights at the school.
“The growth potential’s here,” he said. “Very pleased with the way it turned out tonight and hope the future of it is bright.”
“I think overall, I’m pleased with it,” said school Supt. Toby Gibson. “Nice turnout, steady turnout. I think anytime you can open your doors to the community and families, and get them into the building and talk and build those relationships, that’s a positive. Hopefully, it just keeps building and gets better and better.”