Emergency services on display Saturday at Lake Placid Oval

LAKE PLACID – The Olympic Speedskating Oval will be a hot place to be on Saturday as the North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross recognizes National Fire Prevention Month with an Emergency Services Expo and two runs.

The runs will begin at the Oval with a 5-kilometer one starting at 9 a.m. and a kids’ 400-meter Fun Run starting at 9:05 a.m. The expo will run from 8 to 11 a.m., according to Lynn Gilbert, executive director of the North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross. She said the event will be great for families and the community to learn more about the first responders who serve the community.

“Since it is a child-based event, it will give kids the opportunity to climb into a fire truck or police car,” said Gilbert, who grew up in Saranac Lake.

Among the agencies Gilbert expects at the expo are Essex County Emergency Services (with a vehicle), the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department (fire truck and plastic hats for kids), Lake Placid Police Department (police vehicle and police badge stickers for kids), New York State Police (simulator and vehicle), Essex County EMS (ambulance and blood pressure screenings), Essex County Sheriff’s Office (patrol car, Safe Kids IDs and car seat checks), Essex County Department of Public Health (healthy kids table), and American Red Cross-Preparedness and Disaster (Disaster Emergency Response Vehicle, Scrubby Bear and citizen CPR).

The Essex County Department of Public Health will film an online program about healthy families and have coloring books for children, plus a preschool program to teach kids how to wash their hands to prevent disease. For adults, the department will provide citizen CPR instruction for those who have never taken a full CPR course.

As for the Red Cross’ own display, Gilbert said the agency will have its ERV – Emergency Response Vehicle – which is used during disasters. Gilbert said there will be a sad note to the event, as the expo and race will be dedicated to former Red Cross North Country Chapter board member Patrick Akey, who recently lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. His son will run the 5k in memory of his father.

The day will not be limited to just an expo and runs. The Lake Placid Pub & Brewery has partnered with the Red Cross to host an Oktoberfest After Party at noon, complete with two bands and German food.

Also scheduled to be on hand will be U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, state Sen. Betty Little and state Assemblyman Dan Stec, as well as village Mayor Craig Randall and Essex County board Chairman Randy Douglas, who will join Gilbert at the starting line.

For more information, call the North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross office at 518-561-7280.