DOWNERS GROVE – For Marsha Giesler, the Downers Grove Fire Department’s annual Kids Muster serves one purpose: to better the relationship between local law enforcement and families by bringing them together. As an assistant to Fire Chief Jeffery Pindelski and event organizer, Giesler often curates educational programs for area adults and children that focus on fire safety and prevention.
Kids Muster stands out from her list. The free family-friendly event, which began more than 20 years ago and took place this year on June 8, offers children the chance to play alongside firefighters. From racing down the firepole to going head-to-head in tug of war, Kids Muster was all about having fun on a Saturday morning at Fishel Park.
“Kids get familiar with the firefighters and see them as regular people,” Giesler said about hosting events such as Kids Muster.
She added that people of any age oftentimes encounter firefighters, firemen and first responders during emergencies, and for children, especially, those situations are scary.
They need to know and recognize that firefighters and police officers are “community helpers,” and it’s OK to approach them and ask for help, Giesler said.
Aside from Kids Muster, the fire department is looking forward to hosting a storytime at the Downers Grove Public Library in July, working to inform area businesses about evacuation drills, and making an appearance at summer block parties, smaller-scale previews leading up to the annual “Night at the Firehouse” in October.