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This was this year's theme for National Fire Prevention Week. Fire Prevention Week, which is always busy at the Mason City Fire Department. Fire Prevention Week started as a day to remember and commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of October 9-10, 1871. Fire Marshal Mark Christiansen and fire fighters from the Department visit preschools, elementary schools, businesses and care facilities throughout the week. Of course, the best visits are the Mason City 3rd graders who all show up at the Station during Fire Prevention Week for a tour. Chief Bob Platts brought back Fire Prevention Week activities at the Fire Station when he initiated the Open House on the Sunday before Fire Prevention Week in October 2003. Since then, the Department has hosted children of all ages at the Fire Station for fun and fire learning activities. The Open House is now held on the Sunday after Fire Prevention Week. Mark your calendars!!! This ye next Open House will be on Sunday, October 12, 2014 starting at 1:00 p.m. Don't miss this event!!!
Everyone is hoping for a beautiful fall day for all of the great demonstrations by the fire fighters. Cookies, fire hoses, live fire, lots of smoke and the ever popular car extrication, children of all ages will have a good time again at the annual Fire Department Open House. This year a new live fire demonstration will be a car fire. In between firefighter demonstrations at 1:15, 2:15 and 3:15, kids can their picture taken in the Firefighter cutout. Of course, all of the Mason City elementary school kids cross their fingers that their entry is the one drawn for the ride to school with the fire fighters on their antique fire truck!!
The Fire Department is always proud to partner with the Cerro Gordo Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT). These area residents are trained to assist the Fire and Police Departments in the event of a disaster or large scale incident. It's always informative to visit their table and see everything they do for the County. The North Central Iowa Volunteers for Child Safety are always on hand at the Department's Open House to help with proper installation of child safety seats and it always seems that parents have their vehicles waiting for checks at the corner of 4th St SW and Madison Avenue. For the past couple of years, the Cerro Gordo Public Health Department has had several informative booths at the Open House. They always have flu shots available for those who have not yet gotten around to getting them. They will bill all major insurances and, in some instances, provide them at no cost. Information relating to the different ways to get a flu shot and cost information can be obtained from Public Health at 421.9323. This year Red Cross will also be providing information on disaster preparedness. One of the best new displays this year will be the Mason City Airport's Crash Rescue truck. This gigantic fire truck is one of a kind in north central Iowa and will be making its way down Highway 122 to make an appearance at our open house this year.
In connection with the Department's open house in 2009, it commemorated and celebrated its 100th year as a career department (a department where everyone is paid and there are no volunteers). In 1935, the City of Mason City was recognized as the smallest City in the country to have a career (or all paid) fire department. On Sunday, October 4, 2009, the two civilian clerks of the Department hosted a "fire fighter family reunion". All current and former fire fighters and their families and all descendants of the nine Fire Chiefs were invited to a dinner and a slide show program. The event was funded by generous contributions from community members and the sale of commemorative t-shirts. We can't wait for the next one in 2109!!!