June 18


Gerritsen Beach – Spending Father’s Day “Inside an Ambulance”

June 18, 2024

Parents and their children gathered at Dr. John’s Playground, located at Gerritsen Avenue and Avenue X, on Sunday, June 16th, for the first event in a Summer Children’s Series presented by the Marine Park Alliance (MPA), known as “Just for Kids.”  The Father’s Day event  – “Inside an Ambulance” – gave families the chance to spend quality time together while exploring the inner workings of an ambulance and learning some basic first aid, such as applying a bandage on a boo-boo.

The Gerritsen Beach Volunteer Fire Department (GBFD), also known as the Vollies, provided an inside tour of an ambulance in a safe, calm setting for kids to participate.  Children were also provided plastic firefighter chief hats and coloring books.  They even had a chance to sit on a stretcher.

“Today was showing the kids this ambulance, showing that it’s not something that you have to be afraid of,” said Andrew McKenna, a GBFD volunteer. “It’s to also show that EMTs and firefighters aren’t somebody to be scared of. They’re here to help and for kids to be comfortable around them in case of an emergency.”

Founded in 1922, GBFD is currently the only volunteer fire department in Brooklyn, and, in over a century, has grown to include over 30 dedicated volunteers. Operating a fleet of four fire and EMS apparatus, which soon may include a new fire engine, the GBFD answers more than 500 calls per year and protects life and property in Gerritsen Beach.

“We’re visiting from Florida, but we used to live here and we’re visiting my grandparents and we wanted to check out the park because it’s beautiful, said Dmitry Elkind, father of three. “This was a complete surprise; we had no idea this was happening, coming here. The kids really had a good time. It was a great experience.”

“It’s all for the children,” said Yamin Krumm, an MPA board member. “To see their smiles, and for them to be inside an ambulance and learn, to have fun for themselves and their families.”

The next “Just for Kids” event – “Inching Along” – will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 22nd, also at Dr. John’s Playground.  A librarian from the Gerritsen Beach Library will share stories about some of the smallest animals, and kids will have the opportunity to make small animals of their own.


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