LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – As bigger events make a comeback this summer like Fourth of July parades and fireworks displays, public safety officials have the renewed challenge of making sure crowds stay safe.
A fire captain from the Lansing’s emergency management office said planning for these kind of nights takes months of looking ahead and delicate coordination. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes while families make plans for their night out.
When it comes to planning, Jacqueline Barksdale said she wishes she a bit more time for it.
“I like to but you know how it is with family, happy chaos,” she said.
She and her family were among many others waiting for Monday night’s firework show in Lansing. Blocks away, Captain Jason Stevens with the city’s emergency management office helped execute a carefully tailored plan that was months in the making.
“You see the fireworks happen and you see what’s going on. We work very well with our police department, with the fire department, with the office of emergency management, with parks and rec, with our private entities providing security and fencing,” he explained.
Stevens said the city’s fire crews and officers have gone through cycles of training to respond at a moment’s notice. One thing that gives him peace of mind is that additional help is just a call away.
“We do a great job working with all of our entities to make sure if there is a large event, we do have the capability to whatever the scenario is,” he explained. “We’re kind of lucky that we are centered in this regional location that we have so many resources available to us, that’s what’s really nice.”
But another important part of planning is being flexible.
“We never say “that’s never going to happen here” because if you look historically, we’ve had similar events in very small venues,” he said. “If we look at whatever might happen, we figure out a way to mitigate it and get that scenario done.”
If you are heading out to larger events this summer, Stevens wants you to keep a few safety tips in mind.
“Snow where you are going, know where to park, know all the rules that you are going to be at that venue and just be aware of your surroundings,” he said.
If you plan to bring the family, he added to make sure your children know a number to reach you as well as your name if case you get separated.