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20101025_MRMC_Halloween-festival_EPG_PAGE-1_0078MISSION — Four-year-old Sebastian Garcia of San Juan heard the spookiest sound at Mission Regional Medical Center’s Halloween Safety Fair on Monday: his heartbeat.

Students from Veterans Memorial High School Health Occupation Students of America, or HOSA, set up a booth with stethoscopes to help children hear their heartbeats. A number of similar student groups from local school districts participated in the annual event offering candy and promoting a safe Halloween.

“Primarily we’re concentrating on safety first,” said MRMC CEO Javier Iruegas. “We’re doing education for little kids on how to be safe. But most importantly, we wanted them to have a place to have fun.”

Iruegas said more than 1,500 people attended last year’s event and as families roamed through the parking lot with teenagers and children dancing to music blaring through speakers, he estimated that number would increase to about 2,000 participants.

“It’s a great event with partnership from the Mission Fire Department and Mission Police Department talking to kids,” he said.

Mission police were also performing fingerprint identification for the first 200 children while fire fighters introduced children to their fire truck and the firehouse that teaches children how to evacuate a home that’s on fire.

Sheena Garza who works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit brought along her daughter, Emma, dressed as the Disney character Nemo.

“I love it,” Garza said of the event while walking around the booths decorated to themes by MRMC departments. “It’s wonderful.”

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