Kilgore holds Special Abilities Family Fun Event (SAFFE) Day this Saturday
KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - The Special Abilities Family Fun Event Day, also known as SAFFE Day, has returned to Kilgore after a two-year break because of COVID. The event is geared towards families with special needs children. It’s meant to familiarize families with what to expect in an emergency.
SAFFE Day Board Secretary Meredeth Brown talked with Texan Theater Facilities Manager Chip Hale about some of the events being held at Saturday’s SAFFE Day in Kilgore.
There will be things like face painting and entertainment but also a kind of mild firefighter training. For example, if there’s smoke in a room, you should “get low to the ground, so we have some obstacles and different things for them to experience so they have something to fall back on if they needed that in an emergency situation,” Brown said.
The event will be centered around the Texan Theater this year since it’s usually still hot here in September. Streets will be blocked to make room for emergency vehicles that the kids will get a close look at.
“Lufkin is involved. I know that Henderson, Longview, Liberty City, along with Kilgore. And then, we also have the Kilgore Police Department who’s actively involved. I know Gregg County Sheriff’s Department is also involved,” Hale said.
They both said families from all over East Texas attend to “create a relationship with first responders in case there was an event that they needed to be there, so they would be familiar with some of the first responders, and that they might create a little bit of confidence in them if there was an emergency,” Brown said.
It is a fun event but also has a serious purpose, to help cut down on fear in an emergency situation.
“It gives them the opportunity to see the fire trucks, to see the police cars, to see all the different things that might be in that emergency-type situation, so that they’ll be a little more familiar with it,” Brown said.
Chip points out they’ll even help establish a plan of what to do before first responders arrive. The event was started up by Former Kilgore Fire Chief Johnny Bellows in 2012, so it has also become sort of a family reunion.
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