The 38th annual Antique Fire Apparatus Show will be back in town today, with a variety of firefighting competitions, children’s activities, antique firetrucks, a flea market, refreshments and much more.
Organizers said the show is the biggest of its kind on the East Coast, attracting more than 6,000 people each year.
Admission is free. Proceeds from entry fees and food sales benefit Camp Happiness, which offers programs for children with special needs.
The event will kick off with a flea market at 8:30 a.m. at Eisenhower Park with a plethora of authentic fire gear, memorabilia and clothing.
“There are treasures here for everyone to find,” said muster Chairman Vaughan Dumas. “You don’t have to be in the fire service to enjoy this shopping experience.”
Kids will get to participate in a fire simulation with a working firehouse. There will also be a large moon walk, a fun house and a 55-foot crawl-through caterpillar. Educational programs on fire and disaster preparation will also be featured.
“It’s a great family day,” said muster Co-Chairman George Ambriscoe. “In fact, many of the teams that participate in the competitions and bring antique firetrucks come with their families.”
Fire departments from eight states will be represented in the competitions starting at 10:30 a.m., which include a “Save the Baby” ladder climb and a lakeside draft for antique pumper trucks.
“Muster competitions began years ago as friendly rivalries between neighboring fire departments to determine which company had bragging rights for the best firefighting skills,” Ambriscoe said. “These are exciting action demonstrations of skills that really save lives.”
More than 25 teams will compete in the tug of war, midnight alarm, water barrel blast, arena pumping and bucket brigade competitions.
The Female Firefighters of America will come to the event to sign copies of the 2010 Female Firefighters of America Calendar and participate in the competitions.
“We think we look just as good whether we’re in bikinis or bunker pants, but best of all the profits from our calendar sales go to a great cause, the University of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Burn Center,” said Laura Kupinski, coordinator of the calendar program and a paramedic with the Metro Dade Fire Department.