The Annual Safety Fair began with cloudy skies over North Royalton, so the usual large crowds of families stayed in the large building that houses our North Royalton Fire Department, but Mayor Larry Antoskiewicz had ordered the clouds cleared by 10:45 a.m., and they were. The ambulance and fire trucks were pulled out into the driveway so everyone could get a look at the size and the equipment they carry. The sunshine brought Luke Jacobs and his brother Jack out to get a good look at the equipment that was put away carefully so there would be no problem finding it quickly. They said their bedroom did not look as neat as the fire truck. Their mom Stacy said, “Their bedroom is neat now, but give it ten minutes after they are back home.” Their friend, Wyatt Ropp, thought the ax was the best, “because you can break through doors.” Wyatt showed off his soft football given away by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department.
While their families were looking at the fire trucks, Joseph Suchocki and his friend, Raymond Moore, Cub Scouts from Pack 526, were taking a good look at the inside of the ambulance. Joseph said, “I was never a patient in the ambulance.” His friend, Raymond, said he was never a patient either but, “when you hear the siren and you are in a car, you are supposed to pull over and stop.” So it’s important to be safe inside and outside of the ambulance. The boys were wearing fireman helmets that were being handed out by Chief Robert Chegan, Jr. The Chief is very proud of the department that has many members skilled in different areas of fire fighting and rescue. Chief Chegan gave a big shout out to Kathy Salvo the administrative assistant who is invaluable in making sure the Safety Fair is a wonderful event every single year. Did you know the Fire Department can answer questions about smoke detectors, child car safety seats, home fire prevention and local emergency preparedness and response. They do a lot of things even if you don’t hear a siren. As a matter-of-fact, the Fire Department wants us to be safe enough that sirens are never needed. But they are here for us. There were a lot of firemen, police officers and other support staff at the Safety Fair, not to mention all the people at various tables who all want us to be safe. Three of the Safety Force members doing a great job were Will O’Connor-Myers who was the A#1 balloon-blower-upper. He was joined by Hot Dog Grill Masters, Rob Hardy and Joe Beno, all three are fire-medic team members.
North Royalton is very grateful to be a part of so many great safety and emergency preparedness agencies. Our local Community Emergency Response Team or CERT is always looking for new members to be ready in an emergency. Crisis Response K9s use trained comfort dogs to help people calm down and feel safe after a serious event or trauma. “It’s amazing what a dog can do to calm people,” said the rep. “Some children are even able to tell the dog what happened even if they can’t speak to an adult.”
Zambelli Fireworks showed off the type of canisters used to create fire art in the sky. They will be here for the North Royalton Community Festival on Saturday, August 24, to light up the sky from the radio station area.
The North Royalton Lions Club was handing out small personal first aid kits. The Cuyahoga County Public Office of Emergency Management was handing out blankets. They were little packets of mylar that unfold to keep the cold out and the heat in. They can also be used to screen out the sun’s hot rays.
University Hospitals provided advice on child accident prevention, and offered blood pressure screenings.
One of the great attractions for the Safety Fair is always the life flight helicopter. Unfortunately, this year the chopper was not able to come because Burke Lake Front Airport was still fogged in, and the chopper was grounded at take off time.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to come to a Safety Fair, come next year, you’ll learn a lot.

Contributing Writer