Alden Miller, 3, was excited to hop into the pilot’s seat of the Upland Fire Reach air ambulance, one of four helicopters on display at the Emergency Expo. ‘It’s like a 'helicopto wocket ship' Alden said. Photo : Andrea Swayne
Alden Miller, 3, was excited to hop into the pilot’s seat of the Upland Fire Reach air ambulance, one of four helicopters on display at the Emergency Expo. ‘It’s like a ‘helicopto wocket ship’ Alden said. Photo : Andrea Swayne

By Andrea Swayne

The city of Dana Point’s eighth annual Emergency Preparedness Expo on Saturday, Aug. 22 drew its largest crowd ever, said Mike Rose, director of disaster preparedness and facilities.

“It was our biggest and best so far, with the most emergency equipment and best attendance ever,” Rose said. “This was a make or break year and we put a lot into it. Based on the high turnout we are already planning next year’s event and plan to make it even bigger and better. We are also considering a venue change for next year.”

Although it’s difficult to count, as people arrive from every direction on foot and by car throughout the four-hour event, this year’s event drew an estimated 2,000 attendees, Rose said, based on the volume of giveaways and food sold.

“The city sponsors and is involved in a lot of special events throughout the year but this event is special, unique and important because it’s the only one that focuses on public safety,” Rose said. “Obviously we use all the emergency equipment to draw in kids and their families for a fun day, but more importantly, we are really trying to educate the public on how to get prepared for emergencies and protect their families and homes.”

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