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Youngsters interact with first responders at museum’s exhibit

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum is partnering with the Escondido Police Department and the Escondido Fire Department to bridge the gap in understanding of first responders – police, fire fighters, and paramedics – and familiarize young visitors with the ordinary heroes in our community through a new exhibit featuring a real police motorcycle, emergency radios, first responder uniforms, and more.

Neighborhood Heroes, which opened last week, introduces children and families to police, fire fighters, and paramedics), inspires enthusiasm around helping others, and promotes safety and teamwork. 

Children will be able to suit up in first responder uniforms, unwind a fire hose to fight a fire, radio to dispatch from a real Escondido Police Department motorcycle, practice emergency calls, and conduct rescue missions.

The museum sees the exhibit, and the partnership with the different branches of first responders, as an opportunity to familiarize children and families with the first responders who protect us, and encourage a positive relationship. “Children will be able to experience first-hand and learn about the ordinary heroes in our community; they’ll learn to associate the sight of a fire truck, police vehicle, or ambulance with the women and men who protect us every day. Through theatrical and imaginary play, our young visitors will be inspired to help one another, and understand how to respond to an emergency,” says Wendy Taylor, the museum’s Interim Managing Director.

For many children and families, seeing a police car or hearing the sound of an ambulance or fire truck can be associated with fear. The exhibit aims to bridge that gap. 

This exhibit is part of the museum’s “Our Town: Careers and Community” space; an area dedicated to helping children familiarize with different experiences or places they might encounter in their daily lives, and to inspiring career exploration through role play in a fun and nurturing environment. The exhibit was previously a Health Clinic, sponsored by North County Health Services.

Neighborhood Heroes is included with museum admission. 

For more information about San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, visit sdcdm.org.

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