Fire houses across the Fairfax County opened their doors to visitors last Saturday, as local firefighters marked National Fire Prevention Week.
"It's designed to be a day when the community can come in and see what we do," said Michael Masciola, chief of the Dunn Loring Station
One of the aims of the open house is to educate visitors about fire safety. "Hopefully, if there's a fire, they'll know to get out," he said.
Another aim is to show the children what a firefighter in full gear looks like. All the equipment can sometimes intimidate the children, who would probably already be frightened from being in a burning building. "If you listen to us, we sound like Darth Vader," said Shawn Stokes, president of the volunteer company. "And who is Darth Vader, he's a bad guy."
"Hopefully, they'll know who we are and not be afraid of us," Masciola said.