On Thursday, January 29, Wade Redden
and Dmitri Kalinin of the New York Rangers joined 15 children from Harlem Dowling for an afternoon at the New York City Fire Museum in Soho, as part of the Garden of Dreams 'Show Kids NY' program.
|Rangers defenseman Wade Redden helps children from Harlem Dowling try on some firefighter gear at the New York City Fire Museum. |
After their arrival, the kids enjoyed pizza and other snacks as they waited for a special tour of the museum to begin.
Children were then welcomed by Fire Captain John Collins who led them to a mock apartment where they participated in an educational fire simulation and learned the importance of fire safety.
The children were joined by Rangers' players Kalinin and Redden for the interactive demonstration. It was there that the children learned the dos and don'ts of fire safety and also what to do if they were caught in a fire. To help simulate an actual fire, Captain Collins turned off the lights in the apartment and released "smoke" from a machine. The players and the children were then instructed to stay low, and crawl from one side of the apartment to the other.
"This was my first visit to the museum and I definitely learned a lot," said Redden. "I think they really enjoyed escaping from the simulated fire. We had fun. It was nice to get out and see a different type of museum with the kids."
After the fire simulation, retired firefighter John Kenny, who is a life-long Rangers fan, gave a brief history of the Fire Museum, fire trucks and reiterated the importance of fire safety. The children were then allowed to walk around the museum and try on the different fire equipment.
As a special birthday surprise to John, players and children joined in singing Happy Birthday and presented him with a Rangers gift bag filled with goodies.
"I wasn't expecting that," said John. "That was really overwhelming."
To conclude the event, each child was sworn in as honorary NYC firefighter and received a commemorative fire safety pin and red firefighter hat from the Rangers players.
For more information on the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit charity that works closely with all areas of Madison Square Garden, including the Rangers, Knicks, Liberty, MSG Entertainment, MSG Media and Fuse to "make dreams come true for kids in crisis," please log onto gardenofdreamsfoundation.org