Kids Day had big wheels for kids to explore

Newly hired Norfolk County paramedic Brittany Garner, right, talked to (from left) Anna Farrell, Elena Farrell, grandmother Cheryl Harrington, and Ben Farrell, about the ambulance she was in and her job of rescuing people as the children toured various emergency vehicles at the annual Kid's Day in Waterford on June 1. Susan Gamble/Postmedia Network

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A Kids Day event in Waterford is just a way of saying ‘Thanks!’ to the community, said one of the organizers of the fun day on June 1.

“This community has been very good in donating to our projects and helping out the food cupboard here so this is a way we say thank you back to the community,” said John Varao, a director with the Waterford Lions and co-organizer of the event.

Rather than games and vendors, Kids Day features stuff with wheels – a school bus, ambulance, firetruck, police cruiser and various farm vehicles – that kids can touch, climb and sit in.

“It’s a good learning experience,” Varao said, “especially for the preschoolers who can get on a school bus and check it out.”

Randy Godelie, acting commander of Norfolk County Ambulance services agreed, saying the act of exploring an ambulance reduces a child’s fear in case a situation arises where they have to ride in one.

“It helps them see what we’re all about and that we’re approachable,” said Godelie. “Hopefully this helps them be calmer if they are a passenger one day and the older ones are full of questions.”

The lights, sirens and horns of the vehicles were of particular interest to many of the several hundred kids who visited. Various wails, beeps and deep blasts of noise caused some of the little ones to jump as they explored.

“It’s a lovely day for the kids and they’re trying everything,” said mom Natasha Farrell, who brought her three children and her mother, Cheryl Harrington, to the event.

“This is our first time coming out but we’re be back,” said Harrington.

Varao estimated about 300 children attended the Kids Day.