The 2023 North Royalton Safety Fair sponsored by NR Fire Department got off to a wet start, but the rain moved out and the sun came out to shine on everyone at the Safety Fair. There were firefighters’ hats, stickers of all kinds, small equipment bags, popcorn, beverages, and, of course, hot dogs. Everyone under the shelter of the fire station became part of STEM, (Safety Themed Event Member). Victoria Tsiupyk, who climbed up in the trucking cab last year, came back this year with her parents to see what was new. This was the first fair for fourth grader, Anna Lukianenko, and her mom who are from Ukraine.
Visitors lined up to tour the University Hospital MedEvac helicopter in the upper parking lot. One of the first in line was Julius Korduba. He was surprised by how big the inside of the helicopter was. “I’d like to be a rescuer like you see on TV, where someone else is driving the helicopter and I’d be the person helping to rescue someone from the water or something.” Anakin Girt came down from the seat in the rear of the helicopter and remarked, There’re so many controls to look at. Everyone was fascinated by the helicopter. There is enough room for the patient on the gurney, a flight paramedic or two, like Marc Weghyn FP-C, Certified Flight Paramedic, all the life saving equipment and a radio to keep the MedEvac in touch with the hospital. The skill to fly this ambulance of the air belongs to pilot Charles Thompson, who loves doing his job. He explained that the helicopter needs a minimum area of 100 x 100 feet or more to land. Sometimes things get a little too close like trees or land features. “The wind that the blades make that blows everyone’s hair is called a ‘down wash;’ those are gale force winds.” A gale force wind is a 32 to 47 MPH wind or enough to blow heavy branches of trees around and it could be difficult to walk. “University Hospitals has two Medical helicopters; one is at the Medina County airport and the other at the Geauga County Airport in Middlefield. These helicopters and their crews are on duty every day, all day, 24/7 for our medical health needs,” added Thompson.
The Police Department displayed its drones, which are high tech and give the NRPD and NRFD eyes in the sky for search and rescue, 3D re-creation of accident scenes, ariel advantage for preplanning of large events, and situational awareness in crime and firefighting. The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department was there with S.W.A.T. members. Deputy Miller explained that the teams train almost constantly to be ready for any situation. He wore his technology: a bullet proof vest, body cam, radio, and bullets for his rifle and handgun. SWAT members constantly train for our safety and their own.
The Southwest Enforcement Agency had a robot on display. It didn’t talk or look like R2D2, but it had wheels and arms for grabbing. It was a bomb squad robot. It carries a potential bomb away from people. Bomb Squad members David McCammon and Bruce Merwin said they stay pretty busy, “Many people find unexploded fireworks, maybe pipe bombs and things in old garages or basements. We also get unexploded or live military ordinance (like shells and grenades) that someone thought would be a good souvenir.” These are not souvenirs. Call the police or bomb squad. There were more than 20 organizations participating in the Safety Fair from the MetroHealth Burn Unit to the American Trucking Association. Each had interesting stories to tell about health and safety.

Contributing Writer