PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac beats the heat with second “cool down” event

Published 5:48 pm Tuesday, June 21, 2022

DOWAGIAC — Laylin Park was the place to be Tuesday afternoon as the Dowagiac Fire Dept. hosted its second “cool-down” event.

Children dashed splashed across the park as a high-powered sprinkler rained down cool water while firefighters provided popsicles to those seeking reprieve from the sweltering heat experienced this week.

According to the National Weather Service, June 21 temperatures are expected to reach a high of 96 with a heat index approaching 100 degrees.

Grinnewald was impressed with the turnout considering the fire department announced the event just a few hours prior.

“It gives us as much joy as it does them,” said Dowagiac Public Safety Director Steve Grinnewald. Everybody’s cooped up, it’s summertime, it’s hot. This gives everybody an opportunity to come out; we get to interact with them and they get to interact with us on a different level other than us going to a problem or a call. We get to have some fun with them and it doesn’t cost us anything. We get to actually work the trucks a little bit and get some work on the pump and stuff like that. It’s a win for everybody.”

The event is the second in as many weeks put on by the fire department. The DFD hosted a cool-down event Wednesday, June 15 at Walter Ward Park. Grinnewald said the DFD plans to host cool-down events throughout the summer when the weather calls for it.

“As we get 90 degree weather coming, we’re gonna try to plan on having these events,” he said. “We’re gonna move it around a little bit to different areas of town. We plan to keep it up all summer.””

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has provided tips for staying cool during hot days.