Volunteers work hard to make fireworks show safe

Delano fireworks show cost $8,000

DELANO, Calif. - Pyrotechnics work hard every Fourth of July insuring the safety of workers and the people who watch all the fireworks being set off.

It takes a lot of work to not only prepare for an $8,000 fireworks show, but also to insure the safety of the people enjoying the program.

Volunteers spend the entire year gathering funds to help the community enjoy Independence Day.

"We celebrate a lot of things and this is just a good time of the year to recognize the good things about our country and the freedoms that we enjoy and just some nice celebration," said Kiwanis Club member Steve Kinsey who helped organize this year’s show.

But the 20-minute, $8,000 show at the Delano Airport doesn't just happen overnight. There's a lot of safety planning involved.

"They have to be at least 400 feet away.  We have a nice restricted area. It's all fenced in on the airport. The airport traffic has been shut down. There won't be anyone allowed to fly in and so we have a good distance here, away from us that allows us to have a safe show," said Kinsey.

The company handling the fireworks has to be licensed.  Workers go through an intensive training program and are inspected rather closely.

"There are some that literally have a lifting charge that will lift the shell a thousand feet in the air so you can imagine if you put any part of your body over it, it will take it off," said Rich Bailey who is operating the fireworks.

Crew members are all EMT’s and are volunteer firefighters.  They are all prepared with the proper equipment and protective clothing to handle each explosive, organizers say will go up at least a thousand feet. 

“This is probably one of the better sites that I've been on because there's dirt, no flammable fuels. The wind, if it were to take it to where there's dirt out there instead of brush, trees or vegetation so there's really no chance of starting a fire," said Bailey.

This is the eighth year organizers have put this fireworks show together and they're already working on next year's show.

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