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TWIN FALLS — When a local group wanted to honor first responders with a dinner, they countered with another idea.

Instead of the recognition, responders wanted an opportunity to teach the community about what they do. So the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office, Twin Falls Police Department and the Twin Falls Reformed Church Young at Heart group will host a First Responders Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the church’s parking lot at Pole Line Road West and Grandview Drive North.

Unlike National Night Out, the goal of this event is to raise awareness not just of police presence, but that of other responders by using a lineup of demonstrations.

“The idea is to get the whole group out there, all first responders,” Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dan Thom said.

Participating agencies, nonprofits and businesses include: Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office; Twin Falls, Kimberly and Buhl police departments; Idaho State Police; Magic Valley Paramedics; Idaho Power Co.; Air St. Luke’s; Rock Creek Fire Department; Salmon Tract Rural Fire Protection District; Filer Fire Department; Idaho Fish and Game; Twin Falls Police Bomb Squad; Safe Kids; KLIX; and Twin Falls County.

Interested in going? Demonstrations will be happening throughout the event. Here are six things you and your family might want to check out:

Bicycle rodeo

Children 12 and younger are encouraged to bring their own bikes and helmets to participate in the bicycle rodeo, hosted by the Twin Falls Police Department’s juvenile crime unit. Officers will teach children about road safety, hand signals and obstacles, Officer J.P. O’Donnell said. They can also enter a raffle for a chance to win a free bicycle.

Bomb squad robot

The Twin Falls Police Bomb Squad will do demonstrations with its robot at the event. The squad responds to 24 calls per year on average. The robot is used for about 16 to 18 of those calls to protect the lives of responders. While the department has had the robot about 15 years, it recently got updates to its cameras and now has preset positions.

“We train a lot with it,” O’Donnell said.

The robot can lift about 45 pounds or drag a person.

Bomb squad demo

The Twin Falls Police Bomb Squad robot prepares to pick up an inert pipe bomb Thursday during a training exercise at the Magic Valley Regional Airport in Twin Falls.

See a ‘mobile emergency room’

Want to see the inside of an Air St. Luke’s helicopter, or equipment that’s used inside an ambulance? Air St. Luke’s and Magic Valley Paramedics will be present at the fair to answer questions. Magic Valley Paramedics EMS manager James Pennington said staff is hoping to do a demonstration with an automated external defibrillator.

New rescue vehicle

The Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office will bring out a military-grade rescue vehicle for the public to see for the first time.

“It’s a bulletproof vehicle,” Thom said.

The rescue vehicle will be used by the city and the county in dangerous situations.

Free LED bulbs

Idaho Power Co. representatives will be at the expo with a bucket truck to answer questions about electrical safety. They will also be handing out free LED light bulbs, while supplies last.

Inexpensive lunch

The Twin Falls Reformed Church’s Young at Heart group will be providing hot dogs and drinks for less than $1 each, Thom said. There will also be french fries.

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