Memorial Day is a great day to pause and honor the firefighters and emergency workers who risk their lives for us. Especially since they'll be cooking our breakfast.
Here are a few good facts about these good men and women:Founded in 1910 by 23 concerned citizens in 1910, the department today has one chief, one fire inspector, one administrative assistant, eight captains, and 65 firefighters, most of them volunteers. In 1910, volunteers responded to the clanging of the bell at City Hall. The department had one piece of equipment. This was a steel fire cart, outfitted with axes, ladders, hose and couplings, a small hand-powered pump and buckets. If there was no hydrant at the scene of the fire, the men used the pump to raise water from an irrigation ditch. The department today prepares its personnel for firefighting, hazardous materials (haz-mat) clean-up, and EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and paramedic services.The department responds to an average of 450 fires and 2300 EMS calls per year.AF Fire and Rescue actively encourages fire prevention through its many outreach programs. It visits American Fork's second-grade classes every year, offers fire and gun safety seminars, participates in safety fairs at local businesses, and hosts an annual open house at the fire station. These activities reach over 10,000 citizens each year. Through a grant made possible by the State of Utah, the department offers free smoke detectors to residents in need, no strings attached, and even offers to help install them.
To top it all off, these dedicated emergeny responders make our Memorial Day breakfast each year. Continuing a tradition that began in the mid-1940s with the Fire Ladies Auxilliary, the department now serves up more than a thousand plates each year. Breakfast is served from 6 until 10 a.m. and costs $5 for adults and $3 for children. The doors to the ambulance bay are thrown open, and residents are invited to mix, mingle, and marvel at the tight ship run by this outstanding department.
I look forward to seeing you there!
* Facts are taken from "American Fork: Celebrating 100 Years of Dedicated Service," a feature article in the January-March 2011 edition of Straight Tip, the magazine of the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy.