With bigger and more powerful fireworks legal in Georgia as of Wednesday, the Valdosta Fire Department demonstrated Wednesday afternoon the dangers that these fireworks can pose.
"Right now, we're pretty anxious about [the 4th of July holiday] because it may increase our call volume and may increase our duty," said Valdosta Fire Marshal Cpt. James Clinkscales, explaining the mindset of the firefighters ahead of the 4th of July holiday.
What was making them most anxious was the potential increase in the number of people getting injured by the bigger and more powerful fireworks that became legal Wednesday.
"People wanna get it because the fireworks are new, it's something they've never had before, so they want to make sure they gonna have a big bang," said Cpt. Clinkscales.
As part of the demonstration Wednesday afternoon, firefighters placed a single firecracker in the end of a hot dog and in an apple to represent just how damaging to a human finger or other body parts even the smallest and seemingly harmless fireworks can be.
"Any type of explosive device in your hand that could go up is gonna cause an issue. You can lose fingers, you can lose body parts, even with this," Cpt. Clinkscales emphasized, referring to the large hole and burn mark the firecracker created in the green apple which he held in his hand as he spoke.
Lowndes County emergency officials were also extra concerned about safety heading into the holiday weekend because of the new fireworks that were available for the first time Wednesday.
"We ask that you ask the seller of the fireworks about the bombs or rockets or shells that you might be purchasing so you know," said Lowndes County Clerk Paige Dukes.
Otherwise, instead of listening to the sound of exploding fireworks you could be listening to an ambulance's siren as you are transported to the hospital after being injured by the fireworks.