Farwell event brings health and safety advocates together

April 25, 2019

By Steve Landon

Face it between with the ice, snowstorms and a long lasting polar vortex the winter of 2019 was a challenge. Those who didn’t have to travel to work or venture outside often hibernated with a good a book and waited for spring. Unfortunately several normally active folks found themselves a bit heavier than usual and in many cases out of shape when temperatures finally edged above freezing. So how do you lose those unwanted pounds and get back that brisk spring step you so dearly love without over doing it? Well last weekend residents and visitors from around the area headed to the 15th Annual Paula Pirnstill Health and Safety Fair at Farwell High School to meet people in the know to help them get on the right track to a healthy summer.

The Life Net of Michigan Medical Helicopter prepares to land in the parking lot.
Clare County 4-H Ambassadors Allison Whitaker and Kameron Haag were on hand to help man the MSU Extensions booth offering a healthy snack for kids in the children’s fair.
Brian Malley of The Clare County Sherriff K-9 Unit dog Nellie visit with a couple of young ladies during the children’s safety fair.

Founded 15 years ago by Tom and Paula Pirnstill, the event is designed to provide information to the public regarding health care, healthy living and public safety issues. As in past years folks had a chance to give blood plus take advantage of cholesterol screening, bone density testing and discuss health matters knowledgeable experts on hand. In addition to health care, various community groups, law enforcement, rescue and fire department officials were on available to answer questions and give demonstrations
Inspired by his late wife Paula, Tom Pirnstill continues the tradition with the help of the Farwell Chamber, Farwell Schools, local businesses, sponsors and many volunteers. The goal is to provide free health information and knowledge to all ages.

Visitors listen intently as a member of Mid Michigan Medical Response describes explains the operation of
an ambulance.
A volunteer makes sure a visiting youngster gets properly fitted for a new bike helmet as dad looks on.

The 2019 Children’s Safety Fair proved to be the most popular part of the event. Booth’s covering a wide variety of interest’s from 4-H to bike, marine and fire safety filled the old gym. Once again a number of new children’s life vests and bike helmets were given free to those in need. Several parents took the opportunity to get their children free a child I.D. offered by local law enforcement.

The popular Red Hat Strutters of Farwell entertained visitors with some pretty cool dance moves.
Fair Volunteer Deb Jones of Farwell fits a young lady with a new life jacket.

Outside, fire, emergency service providers and police officers educated and provided hands on experiences for youth of all ages. Nellie a hard working four-legged member of the Clare County Sherriff’s Department K-9 unit joined handler Brian Malley to visit with youngsters and adults. Malley explained how important the dog and the k-9 unit is to area law enforcement and answered questions while Nellie enjoyed some extra love and attention from visitors.

A young lady emerges after tackling a fire department obstacle course.

A smoke house designed to train young and old how to safely exit a smoke filled building in a fire and an obstacle course were very popular booths outside. Due to a commitment to attend another event the popular visit by the Medical helicopter was shorter than usual, however, several visitors checked it out. While amazed with the chopper and the technology it contained everyone hopes they’ll never have a need for the life flight services it provides. Flight crewmembers explained the operation of both the helicopter and the vital equipment used to transport and help patients in desperate need of fast transportation in a life-threatening emergency when seconds count.

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