If your superhero fanatic is in search of true inspiration, nothing delivers like a real life firefighter. And lucky for you, many of the D.C. area’s local firehouses love to open their doors to show what life in the station is all about. From the bunk-rooms and library, to the kitchen and fitness center, kiddo can get an up-close-and-personal view of a firefighter’s daily routine. Here’s where to go in the DMV to turn your little one’s firefighting dream into a reality.
The District has 33 fire stations throughout the city and they all features tours for tykes. All you have to do is call the station you’re interested in checking out to schedule a day and time. Grown-ups can take their day-at-the-station to the next level by signing up for one of the D.C. Fire and EMS department’s Child Safety and Injury Prevention workshops. And for super-curious kids and teens (ages 2-17), there’s also a Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program that delves deeper into the dangers of fire-play. Insider tip: All firehouse tours are free, though you are encouraged to make a monetary donation to the station of your choice.
D.C. Main Fire and EMS Department
2000 14th St., NW, 500
Many of the Maryland fire stations welcome drop-ins and also feature more formal tours to scout groups and schools, which include fire safety and prevention instruction. If you happen to have a firefighting-obsessed bigger kid who is truly curious about a day-in-the-life of a firefighter, you can sign up for the Ride Along Program to get a firsthand look at what firefighters do in the field. Insider tip: If your budding fireman is still carseat bound, let one of the firemen or staffers inspect the installation of the seat to make sure it’s up to par.
Kensington Volunteer Fire Department
Connecticut Ave. and Plyers Mill Rd. (Kensington, Md)
Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad
5020 Battery Ln. (Bethesda, Md)
Glen Echo Fire Department
5920 Massachusetts Ave. (Bethesda, Md)
Virginia is for fire house lovers. In Arlington alone you have your choice of 10 different stations to visit; all featuring full-course tours of the facility, equipment and gear. Plus, while you’re there you can sign up for a Fire Safety Presentation that is catered to your living space—an apartment, a single family home, or a townhouse. Pop onto their website to find the station nearest to you and sign up. Insider tip: Why stop at just a tour? The Fall Church Volunteer Fire Department features a large hall you can rent for parties on weekends. Parties include a station tour, a fire truck tour, and firefighter gear demonstration. The station will even decorate for you and pass out plastic fire hats and sticker badges!
Arlington Volunteer Fire Department
Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department
6950 Little Falls Rd. (Arlington, Va)
Have you ever visited a local fire station with your kids? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
— Jamy Bond
Photos courtesy of D.C. Main Fire and EMS Department via Facebook, Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad via Facebook, Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department via Facebook