Great Hang Up: A Haunting Message from firefighters

10:03 AM, Oct 3, 2011   |    comments
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Palm Harbor, Florida -- East lake Fire Rescue has a novel, scary and timely way to teach teenagers the dangers of distracted driving.

The Haunted Fire House is sure to give kids a scare--and a message.

Photos: A haunting message from firefighters

"We wanted to get our safety initiative out to our high schoolers and young adults," said Tom May, Assistant Fire Chief from East Lake Fire Rescue.  "We figured a draw would be a haunted house.  And we're doing a subliminal message about teh texting and driving. We hope we can get that message delivered to them."

The message in the haunted house isn't exactly subtle.

For instance, one room features two coffins.  One has the body of Dexter the texter who was killed in a distracted driving accident.  The other has a mirror in the place of a body.  The idea--if you're texting and driving, you could be the next to die.

The haunted house takes up a big part of Fire Station 57's equipement bay.  And it extends to the parking lot, where they've set up a wrecked car.

"That's actually from a wrecking yard--from a distracted driver," said Asst. Chief May.  "It was a front end accident.  The people took their eyes off the road and wound up running into another vehicle."

Distracted drivinig is something most firefighters are familiar with.  In the East Lake fire district, they'll likely go on 300-350 vehicle accidents a year.  Many of them caused by distracted driving and many of them are serious.

Firefighters from East Lake Fire Rescue have worked hundreds of hours to create the haunted house--many on their time off.

"The message is so strong that they feel committed to it because we really don't want to run on any more accidents," said May.

The Haunted Fire House is located at East Lake's Station 57--3375 Tarpon Lake Blvd.  It will be open Fridays and Saturdays before Halloween and on Halloween night from 7:00-10:00pm.  Admission is five dollars.

This is definitely a PG-13 rated event.  It may be too scary for young children.

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