Sunday, May 27, 2018

Oldest Paris Firehall Opens Doors

 The Marais Fire Station, the oldest firehall in Paris, opened its doors to the public this weekend.
It occupies the old Hotel de Chavigny on the rue de Sévigné, near the Saint Paul Church.
Bill and I often pass by after grocery shopping on Rue Saint Antoine. It was fun to finally look through the massive open gate
and be welcomed by the sapeur pompiers (firemen) who work there.
 The two day event was well organized with a special emphasis on entertaining the children. The firemen parked one of their trucks in the courtyard with the enormous ladder extended to a nearby rooftop for the children to climb.
 If they were old enough they were kitted up with official helmets.
 A long line formed as the kids were taken up the ladder one at a time.
Those kids had a ball and I noticed they were given a certificate afterwards. Fun.
 In the station other firemen demonstrated lifesaving techniques
 for which they are justly famous.
Another highlight for the kids was a chance to hold the firehose
 guided with a firm helping hand.
 The wall of the courtyard provided a suitable target.
Bill noticed this tot sneaking around the edge of the line for a closer look. A future fireman perhaps?
I have to say I was tempted to join the line.
At the end of the afternoon the firemen performed a mock rescue. A smoke bomb was released in an upper window of the Hotel de Chavigny and a figure appeared crying out for rescue.
 As in a well-rehearsed play the heroes duly arrived,
 threw up a ladder,
 and arranged a drop for the now unconscious victim.
 Smoke soon filled the courtyard
 but cleared
 in time for our heroes to take a bow.
The firemen must have done something right, because an actual teenager asked one of them to pose for a selfie. Can there be more sincere praise?
Our thanks to the Sapeur Pompiers for their great hospitality! One parting note: their blockbuster Bastille Day champagne dance party is a local legend. Just saying.


  1. Very glad you were able to visit the firehall open house!
    Looks like an excellent event.
    Have you ever been in Paris on Bastille Day?

  2. BTW the spam filter asked me to click on a street sign - labelled "Insurgentes"!

  3. Hi Lisa
    It was truly a fun event and no we've never been in Paris for Bastille Day though the celebrations at this particular fire station are supposed to be memorable.
    No idea about the "insurgentes" spam - that's in Blogger's hands! Our apologies.
    B & J

  4. oops sorry to be unclear - it's the step before posting a comment where one clicks on cars or signs or windows to prove one is a person.
    I may be pro-insurgentes!