AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP — Safety forces blocked a small portion of road north of township hall on Friday morning, but it was not for an emergency.

Austinburg Safety Forces Day brought visitors from the Austinburg, Dorset and Rome fire departments as well as a tow truck driver, security firm and an ambulance.

"Anybody (children) might see at the house (in case of an emergency)," said Shawn Shannon, who organizes the annual event with other businesses in Austinburg Township.

He said the event came from parents stopping at his convenience store and discussing children's safety years ago. For the last six years the event has tried to bring in safety forces personnel so the children have a feel for who might show up in an emergency.

"We always try to do it this week. It is fire prevention week," Shannon said prior to a an opening ceremony that included the Pledge of Allegiance.

Rev. Bill Terry of First United Church of Christ in Austinburg also asked for a blessing on firefighters and other emergency workers.

"We ask that you guide and strengthen (the first responders)," he said.

Shannon said the area businesses also plan a Halloween Trunk or Treat event 5 to 7 p.m. on Halloween night and will sponsor a Christmas party the second week of December at Austinburg Elementary School.

The children were able to tour the fire engines, look at a tow truck and learn about security systems as well as reach out to our Armed Forces.

"We are going to be making Halloween cards to send to troops abroad," Shannon said.

Shawn Metzler gathered her grandchildren and headed to the event.

"It is a day off school so grandma decided to bring them," she said after taking pictures of the children on the side of a fire truck.

"It is great," said Rome Fire Department Chief Ed Koziol of the educational opportunities at the event. He said his department also assists fire departments in Andover and Orwell by going to Grand Valley and Pymatuning Valley schools in their fire education programs.

"What is really rewarding [is that] the kids are retaining the information," Koziol said.

Ashley York brought her daughter Maggie, 5, all the way from Kinsman to support a family member and have an opportunity for her daughter as well.

"It got them out of the house for the day, York said.

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