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Aug-03-2014 10:30printcomments

Family Fest at Riverfront Park a Huge Success

Maybe the most anticipated part of the festival was the landing at 11:00 a.m. of a REACH medical helicopter out of Corvallis.

Salem Family Fest
On Saturday, thousands of families took part in the 5th annual Family Building Blocks Family Fest at Salem's Riverfront Park. Photo's by Kevin Hays Salem-News.com

(SALEM, Ore. ) - On Saturday, thousands of families took part in the 5th annual Family Building Blocks Family Fest at Salem's Riverfront Park.

Children and their parents learned about such things as why it is important to keep trash and other debris out of city sewer lines, and the effect those things can have on fish swimming in area waterways. The Salem Fire Department had an engine for kids to look at, sit in, and learn about firefighting, Salem Police were on hand handing out information on children and home safety, while the Oregon Dairy farmers had an interactive cow where kids could squeeze on rubber utters that shot out milk. There was music, dancing, information on healthy eating, health and hygiene, playing sports safely, bus and train safety, and free lifejackets were handed out.

Maybe the most anticipated part of the festival was the landing at 11:00 a.m. of a REACH medical helicopter out of Corvallis.

Hundreds watched as the helicopter flew low overhead, and then landed. A line formed quickly and visitors waited patiently in the warm sunshine to get a tour of the in the air ICU aircraft. The pilot told Salem-News.com that REACH currently has two aircraft in Corvallis, one is always in service and the other is either on stand-by or being serviced. He estimated that once they are called, they can make it to Salem and rural locations in Marion and Polk Counties in less than 30 minutes.

He added that if they feel that Aurora based LifeFlight is able to handle the call faster, they will hand it off to them. "For us it is more about the patient and getting them the critical care they need, both in the air and at the hospital, and if another agency is better equipped or closer to the accident scene, we will pass it off to them." the pilot said. The aircraft is like a fully functional ICU unit you would find at most hospitals, that is staffed with both a paramedic and a flight nurse.

In 2013, 99 percent of the children who were involved in FBB’s core programs were able to live safely with their parents, thus avoiding abuse, neglect, and foster care.

Family Building Blocks has two locations in Salem: Chelsea’s Place on Lancaster Drive NE, and Gracie’s Place on Edgewater Street NW, and one location in Stayton, Doris’s Place on N. 3rd Ave.

For more information on Family Building Blocks visit www.familybuildingblocks.org




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