Vet, fireworks businessman shares reminders for Fourth of July

Ionia County

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — A business owner in Ionia is bringing unique perspective to the conversation surrounding fireworks this time of year.

Bill Collins served in the U.S. military as a weapons specialist. He has always been interested in fireworks, so he started a display company after his service. 

Bill’s Fireworks LLC aims to teach customers about the celebratory activity before they walk out the door.

“We try to educate people on the proper use, the respectful use of fireworks,” Collins said. “This is not stuff that you want to be playing with at 3 a.m. because you’ve got a bunch of buddies together and you go, ‘Hey watch this.’”

Collins, like many veterans, lives with post-traumatic stress disorder and explained sufferers can sometimes be more bothered by not knowing fireworks will go off than the loud noise and bright lights they create.

“Be respectful of people. If you know a neighbor has PTSD, give them a phone call,” he said. “Everybody’s stressors are a little bit different. Everybody’s triggers are a little bit different. There are some folks that can just not be around them at all and unfortunately there’s not a lot we can do this time of year, but the biggest thing is letting them know it’s coming.”

Collins said the same goes for pet owners, given animals can be spooked by the sudden booms.  “This is stuff for entertainment. It’s not entertaining to be rude and disrespectful to your neighbors,” he added.



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