The Golden Valley Lowe’s parking lot looked more like an episode of “CSI” on Saturday morning than it did a suburban strip mall. Rows of spaces were roped by taught police lines, and firefighters rushed one by one out of Station 150’s day-glow red Hazardous Waste engine onto the scene.
But here at Lowe’s second annual Community Awareness and Safety event, the only warrants being served were for hot dogs, and there was no hazardous waste for Engine 150 on this call, just perhaps fizzy puddles of spilled soda.
Deputies from the California Highway Patrol and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, as well as units from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, came out in full regalia to Lowe’s to bring heightened awareness to Golden Valley residents.
“We’re having a community event,” said Lowe’s event organizer Don McIntire. “We want to get our new community and our old community together boost our emergency preparedness in the Santa Clarita Valley.”
The agencies showed off their first-responders’ vehicles, helped serve food and mingled with the crowd. A hazardous waste unit from LA County Fire Station 150 offered tours and passed out badges to children.
The goal, McIntire explained, was to familiarize Golden Valley residents with the local first responders and with emergency procedures in the event of urgent situation.
“Obviously on this side of town if something happened to the freeway system we’d be here for a while,” he said.
If the 14 freeway were damaged, he continued, Golden Valley residents would be effectively stuck together through the emergency situation.
But the Community Awareness and Safety event was not all merely talk of first-aid kits and emergency hotlines, it was a chance for local families to enjoy some early morning fun.
Kids were treated with a special guest appearance by Santa Claus, who recorded all of their Christmas wishes.
McIntire, seeing six months of organization and planning come to fruition, deemed the event a success.
“Hopefully this will catch on and we can do it every year,” he said.