DRACUT — It may have been one of the cooler days of the summer, but that didn’t stop 130 senior citizens from enjoying ice cream sundaes at the Council on Aging.

“The Dracut Firefighters Union sponsors the event each year,” Lt. Andrew Powell said of the Aug. 23 get-together. “It’s part of our community outreach program.”

Powell explained the Fire Department responds to all emergency calls, and he feels it’s important for the elderly community to know the firefighters on a social level, a concept firefighter Romeo Demers agrees with.

“We’re not just the ice cream people,” Demers said. “We’re here to help.”

The seniors enjoyed their chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream with toppings of chocolate and strawberry sauce, jimmies and sprinkles and whipped cream.

For Rae Bureau it was more than just the ice cream she was enjoying.

“I think it’s a happy feeling,” Bureau said. “Everybody’s in a good mood, the way it should be.”

Bureau also has respect for the firefighters. “They are wonderful and brave,” Bureau said. “I would never be a fireman or policeman for all the money in China.”

The purpose of the ice cream social is not just to have seniors enjoy the creamy treat, but also for them to learn about fire safety from Deputy Chief Mike Ralls.

Ralls knew the lecture, though informative, had to be done quickly. “I know the consequences if I’m not done before bingo,” Ralls said to the laughing and cheering seniors.

Ralls explained the law regarding carbon-monoxide detectors and the need for each house to have at least one somewhere in the home — unless the home is completely electric.

“The only way to detect carbon monoxide is through a meter,” Ralls explained. “That’s what the detector is. They have to be some sort of battery too, in case the electricity goes out.”

Ralls shifted gears to talk about visibility of house numbers and how important it is. “House numbers need to be visible from the street,” Ralls explained. “They need to be three-inches high and in contrasting colors.”

After discussing fire safety regarding the use of candles, Ralls wrapped up his discussion because, well, it was bingo time. For more information about fire safety, contact your local fire department or visit the Department of Fire Services at

Have a story idea? Gayle Simone can be reached at 978-970-4838 or by e-mail at