I got in touch with the fire chief of our local station (Worthington) and he was happy to let me know that for their station, early evening is the best time for visits. We were excited to pack up the kids after work and head out. Firefighting runs in the family, and Matt often regrets not going into it straight out of high school. Maybe Rhys will carry on the tradition.
We went in through the office door, where there is a waiting area with fun things to browse. This time of day is not my kids' shining behavior hour, but the staff was very patient with us. Even when Rhys hauled it down the hallway and into a bedroom.
The truck had just come back from a run, so they needed a few minutes to get ready, and then Firefighter Dunn came to greet us. He gave the kids their own hats and we made our way to the garage.
I wasn't expecting the kids to be as apprehensive as they were, so they were a little whiny and shy. I guess seeing the enormous equipment in person is a bit of a shock for the first time, and Larkyn was sure that the siren would go off any minute. Everyone was so friendly, even sharing their knowledge of Peppa Pig!
We got to see all the different vehicles, he asked the kids questions to engage them, and offered for them to try a few things (neither was willing, but maybe next time!)
This was a perfect experience for my little firetruck-lover and for big sis to see that firefighters are friendly and not to be feared. Matt and I also learned a lot, and we stopped for a quiet (or not) moment at the memorial outside the museum. The whole experience led to great conversations about honoring public servants like firefighters.
If you plan a visit, please make sure to call your local department ahead of time. If you have a child like Rhys, you might be interested in having a birthday party at the Upper Arlington station or the Central Ohio Fire Museum.