If your kiddo goes into a trance any time a red fire truck and its loud sirens pass by your house, then a trip to the local fire station is in your future. With a giant truck to check out, rooms to explore and fun hats, little firefighters will jump for joy. Many of the local San Diego fire stations are more than happy to show you their digs and give you a room-to-room tour of their station. We’ve got the inside scoop on everything you need to know to book your own fire station tour. But be ready to step out of the way if they get a call!
Setting Up the Station Tour
It’s actually pretty easy to set up a visit to your local station. All you have to do is fill out this form and submit it to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department three weeks prior to your proposed visit date. Each station is open from 9 – 11 a.m. and 2 – 5 p.m. for tours and visits. Tours are typically limited to 25 guests or less. The fire stations run and operate as they typically do, so there is a chance that the crew will be out on a call when you arrive. Have no fear though; you can always reschedule or hang out till they get back.
What to Check Out
A visit to the fire station can really be just as fun for adults as it is for the kiddos. Getting an up-close and personal view of how fire fighters live while they wait on a call is sure to intrigue. Sleeping with constant alarms could even be compared to living like a parent with a newborn. You’ll learn about their call systems, the paperwork that needs to get filed and their meal arrangements. A fire house is run almost like any other house as far as day-to-day activities go. There is a full size kitchen with an extra large grill, bedrooms with closet space and workout equipment in the garage.
Most kiddos will agree the highlight of the visit is checking out the fire truck. The fire fighters lead the tour and show you the main parts of the truck. They may even let the little ones sit inside. The super cool part is seeing a fire fighter in his full gear. This part alone is awesome for a kiddo to see and understand that firefighters are there to help (and they aren’t scary). Some of the stations even have fun take-aways for the little ones. Coloring books, fire hats and fire fighter sticker badges are a fun way to remember a trip to the fire station.
A Step Beyond the Tour: Supporting Local Fire Fighters
Most people aren’t aware that fire stations don’t receive a lot of funding. They purchase all of their own food for the station and do not have any luxuries. There isn’t really any decor or comfort items around unless people donate these items to the station. The San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation does an awesome job at supporting our fire fighters that need the extra equipment and necessities.
We often hear about people dropping off cookies and baked goods to their local stations to support, but they would love fresh fruits and veggies too! There is nothing better than a poster from the friends around town to show support to those who help us everyday.
Have you visited a local fire station with your kids? Tell us about it in the comments section.
Story and photos by Brianne Grajkowski