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Amid increasing local summer temperatures and a continued push for disaster-prevention, Colorado Springs residents have an opportunity to get a free hot dog lunch, hear about local emergency services and get a picture with Smokey Bear. Flight for Life may also make an appearance.

The Wescott Fire Department's annual Safety, Health, Wellness and Preparation Day, held Saturday, June 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the department's first station, 15415 Gleneagle Drive off East Baptist Road, is a public event and will offer free hot dogs, chips and soda and bring together about 20 community organizations and members, including Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and the American Red Cross, among others.

Margo Humes, the Wescott Fire Department fire marshal and organizer of the event, said that the day is meant to provide information and ideas for community members to prepare for any disaster.

"I didn't want just the 'same old, same old' and wanted to expand out and do more to help the community," Humes said, mentioning that community members have asked about various services and she wanted to put them all in one place.

" 'Where do I go for help with this and that? How do I get started on a 72-hour emergency kit?' " Humes mentioned those unsure what to do with their animals during the Waldo Canyon fire.

Tables outside the station will serve as exhibits for the "festive yet informational family event." Information about pre-hospital education and cancer awareness will be provided by Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, and the Red Cross will discuss shelters. The Monument Police Department will be in attendance, and there will be a table for the Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 campaign that seeks to eliminate speeding and unsafe driving. Pikes Peak Wildfire Prevention Partners will discuss fire mitigation.

HemoSolutions, a Springs-based dog blood bank, will attend for donor recruitment, though will not be taking blood at the event. Animal Emergency Care Centers, which provides emergency care for dogs, cats, birds and "exotic animals," according to its website, will also be in attendance, Humes said.

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo will be bringing about four animals of different types, said Nicole Mantz, education curator with the zoo, in an email.

Humes also said that Flight for Life may make an appearance around 10 a.m., depending on its availability.

Additionally, the Wescott Fire Department is sponsoring Partners in Housing, which provides transitional housing and supportive services to homeless families with children and some adults without children. The fire station is accepting donations of any kind as well as personal hygiene products, such as toilet paper and laundry soap.

Special guests Smokey Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog will roam around the event and be available for pictures and children can sit inside a fire truck.


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