Chatfield Fire Department ready to greet public at fire hall Thursday

By: 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

Chatfield firefighters will welcome the public at the fire hall on Main Street for an open house this Thursday during Fire Prevention Week. 

“‘Not every hero wears a cape.  PLAN and you ESCAPE!’ is the theme for this year,” stated Chatfield Fire Chief Ryan Priebe. The theme of Fire Prevention Week is meant to address how families with children should prepare to get out of their homes in case of fire and make certain that everyone is accounted for and well. Priebe is pleased to be able to feature that as part of this year’s open house. 

“We have an open house to promote fire safety and to meet everyone in the community,” he said. “This year, we will have a smoke house, a car extrication demo, a spray house, fire truck tours and other activities.  We will have a demo of all of our gear and how it works – it’s important for kids to get to see this stuff so they will not be scared if there is a fire and so they will know what to do.  It should be a good family and community event where we can educate you on fire safety and answer any questions that you may have.”     

Several years ago, the department observed Fire Prevention Week with its annual firefighters’ talent show as a “thank you” event for the community – a romp onstage at Chatfield’s historic Potter Auditorium, complete with surprise skits done by the department’s members. However, a shift to educating the public on how to remain safe in their own homes, or even how to escape their own homes when emergencies happen, has proven itself useful as the crew meets and greets children and reminds parents to teach them what they need to know. 

“We look forward to meeting all the kids and the community at the fire hall,” Priebe said. “We are excited about people just coming and seeing what we do and how we do it.  Hopefully, it will make them think about fire safety in their homes and help out with that.  It is a great opportunity to meet your local firefighters and see what we do.” 

There will be cookies and refreshments available during the open house Thursday, Oct. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the fire hall.       

The firefighters continue to train to be prepared for any calls that might arise, and Priebe noted that while no new equipment purchases are in the immediate future, there’s work to be done on the fire hall itself, although the department plans on replacing the garage doors and security doors this year.      

He concluded that the fire department is grateful for the community’s support as it maintains the equipment and fire hall.