Fire Department holds open house

Photo by Yuka Karkela

The Grand Rapids Fire Department held an open house at the city’s new fire hall on Tuesday.

The open house gave the public its first look at the new facility, which is located at 104 SE 11th Street and opened earlier this year after the demolition of the old fire hall downtown.

The city held a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick off the event. Fire Chief Travis Cole said the department was excited to host an open house once again after the 2020 event was canceled.

During the open house, community members got the chance to meet Grand Rapids’ firefighters, tour the fire hall, sign up for drawings, and enjoy the ever-popular fire truck rides.

“Fire truck rides are always a crowd favorite,” Cole said.

Families lined up in the parking lot as firefighters pulled up in trucks to pick awaiting passengers. The trucks then circled around the neighborhood before picking up the next group in line.

LaMara Nichols, 14, rode along in the department’s newest truck, Engine 115. It was the first time she had ridden inside a fire truck and she was surprised at how much equipment it held.

“The inside and where you sit was smaller than I thought,” Nichols said.

Free food was available as firefighters and their families grilled hot dogs and served chips, cookies, and bottled water. Kona Ice sold shaved ice refreshments.

The grand opening coincided with Fire Prevention Week, where the fire department promotes public safety.

“We do a lot of tours at schools with public education activities and promote fire safety,” Cole said.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign was titled “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety,” and was held Oct. 3-9. It is designed to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

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