It started with raucous bidding at the recent Kare Bears luncheon. Our fire station, Unit 185, offered up a private tour and dinner for the winning bidder. Jan Kirk joined with Faye Sessoms to monitor the silent auction sheet … and to add $50 every time someone else wrote in a figure. Kare Bears was the winner, but so were Jan and Faye who walked away with the opportunity! They invited two other couples from their PebbleCreek Community Church, and all were welcomed to an evening of education, too much great food, and fun.
We were welcomed by Captain Zack Renschler and his on-duty crew, plus other off-duty firefighters who donated their time to make this opportunity a reality. We were first given a tour of the facility. There are actually three crews occupying the station, each for a 48-hour shift followed by four days off. There are small private rooms with bunks when sleep can be fit in, a kitchen with three refrigerators (one for each crew—remember sharing in college…), and a great room for meals and gathering. We also saw a janitor closet organized as most of us can only dream of, and, of course, the firetruck bay with a traditional fire truck and specialized Hazmat truck.
As organization of the firetruck was being explained, the alarm sounded, and the on-duty crew rapidly climbed aboard the truck and were off. We later learned the call involved a PebbleCreek resident who had been ejected from her golf cart and hit her head on the pavement. She was off in an ambulance, which was called for transport to the hospital with a hopefully good prognosis. Yes, fellow Creekers, be careful in those golf carts—quick turns, roadway hazards, and … seldom used seat belts!
And then there was dinner: Appetizers (some healthy, some not but really good!), smoked brisket (some kind resident donated an outside smoker to the fire station—yummy!), potato salad, coleslaw, and more. And, of course, dessert—“fruit crisp” made with a cake mix, pie filling, a can of pop, and a stick of butter. Accompanied, as you would guess, with a choice of chocolate or vanilla ice cream.
One of the ways our fire department reaches out to our community is by making available opportunities such as this to be auctioned in support of local causes. This time Kare Bears was their benefactor. The fire station includes a room for training and rewards for children (e.g., plastic firefighters helmets), and a CPR dummy for training in the station and, by invitation, with groups in homes and offices.
Our evening concluded with a photo. All tried to smile and the flash went off. Yes, what an opportunity it was!