DALLAS — What’s better on a hot summer day than running through a sprinkler?
Dallas Fire & EMS provided that opportunity on the afternoon of Aug. 5 at Dallas’ Gala Park at the corner of Hankel Street and Uglow Avenue, courtesy of Fire Engine 101.
April Welsh, the Fire & EMS community service officer, said the department set up an impromptu sprinkler park on the last day of school in June, and the firefighters had so much fun, they decided to do it again.
They posted the Aug. 5 event at Gala Park the night before, saying Engine 101 would be at the park from 1 to 3 p.m.
“We actually had kids waiting for us when we got here,” Welsh said.
She said it’s a way to connect with the community in a fun way.
“It’s an opportunity for kids to talk to firefighters,” Welsh said. “And it gives kids another opportunity to enjoy summer and play in the park, out of the house.”
Welsh said the firefighters hooked up to a fire hydrant near the park and ran the sprinkler at about 25 percent capacity to save water. It was enough to create a mini rainstorm for kids — and their parents — to enjoy during the heat of the day.
More children showed up each time firefighters Jesse Friedow and Lew Owens turned on the sprinkler.
“Oh, it’s cold!” yelled one child, who kept running through the downpour nonetheless.
Some parents set up lawn chairs on the edge of the “spray zone” to take advantage of a refreshing mist.
“I think this is absolutely awesome,” said Elizabeth Barlow, who brought her two children to the park on Aug. 5. “Doing stuff like this, it really brings us together. Look at how many kids we have out here? Everybody is having a good old time.”
Welsh said the department built a standalone sprinkler that firefighters can hook up to the hydrant and run if the truck has to leave on a call.
“We don’t want to disappoint the kids, so we have a backup plan,” she said.
Welsh said the department will post the next cool-off day on Facebook.
“We want to do it another couple more times this summer,” Welsh said.