WIESBADEN, Germany – The sound of wailing sirens and squeals of excitement from children of all ages filled Aukamm Housing Area on Thursday. The U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Directorate of Emergency Services joined their Host Nation partners on Aug. 19 for the second annual First Responders Day parade and celebration.
The event kicked off at 10 a.m. with a parade led by a vintage fire truck carrying the Grand Marshals, Tommy Mize, the Director of IMCOM Europe and Col. Mario Washington, the USAG Wiesbaden Commander.
Firefighters and police wound their way through the streets of Aukamm in police cars, fire trucks and horses showcasing specialized fire and law enforcement vehicles.
Following the parade, lunch was provided by the USO and free ice cream was given to the first 100 children.
Demonstrations and activities lined Württembergstraße. This allowed guests a hands-on experience and gave a rare, up-close glimpse into what first responders experience in their jobs.
“This event gives our community the opportunity to see the partnership we have with our Host Nation first responders. The support we receive from them daily is a crucial element of our success.” said Lt. Col. Jon Jackson, the Director of Emergency Services.
According to guests, some of their favorite demonstrations and exhibits were the ladder truck that lifted them over 100 feet into the air, far above the trees, for stunning views of Aukamm and the city of Wiesbaden.
Adults and kids alike enjoyed the military police working dog demonstration, the firehose demonstration, meeting the AFN Eagle and Sparky the Fire Dog and witnessing the Jaws of Life in action.
“We love all the little ways our families can participate in community events. Whether it’s grand celebrations or small gatherings, those efforts to bring people together are appreciated,” said Melissa Bitter, who enjoyed the celebration with her two daughters.
“First Responders Day gives us a chance to thank our community for their support by giving them the opportunity to have fun. It allows them to interact with first responders not only from the garrison but with our Host Nation partners in a relaxed environment,” said Sgt. 1st Class Edward Frady, Garrison Provost Sergeant.