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On Wednesday, Jan. 14, the Richmond Fire Department looks forward to greeting the public from 7 to 9 a.m. at its new fire station at 303 Thornton. The department is hosting a Business Before Hours open house.
The fire department is looking forward to showing off its new facilities. Visitors are invited to tour the building that will feature a look at the heated garage, dispatch office, great room and kitchen area, classroom, sleeping quarters, exercise room and more. Residents can see the fire pole that enables the firefighters to slip quickly from the sleeping quarters to the garage area.
Firefighter Rob Kinnard spoke to The Daily News about the department and its involvement in the community. He said the department participated in adopting a family for Christmas and presented financial and toy donations to their family.
Kinnard said the department presents monthly prevention meetings at the Eagleton Center. Topics for seniors include fall prevention, holiday safety, scams, safe driving tips and, of course, fire prevention. The department continues to offer free installation and inspection of home smoke detectors as well as free CPR classes. A phone call can schedule these services.
The firefighters also present an annual fire prevention program to Richmond and Hardin schools and daycares, employing the use of the Fire Prevention Trailer.
“We also enjoy giving informational station tours to groups that wish to learn more about our services,” Kinnard said.
Weekly training is ongoing for the full-time and volunteer firefighters by instructor Karl Carter. Topics include rescue and extrication, building construction, public fire education, protecting evidence for fire cause determination and ventilation. Currently, Kinnard and Zeb Williams are also attending Firefighter 1 and 2 training at Ft. Osage in Independence three nights a week.
The station also has women’s auxiliary.
“They coordinate family events and special needs, such as snacks and water, to the fire personnel on calls that require an extended period of time,” Kinnard said. “They also help with our annual ham and bean dinner fundraiser.”
Other fundraisers include the yearly Boot Block for Muscular Dystrophy and the World League Wrestling event.
In conjunction with the Richmond Parks and Recreation Dept., the station helps promote, set up and clean up, work concessions and do whatever is necessary when WLW comes to town.
“Proceeds from the ticket sales and concessions have gone to the Recreation Dept. and fire prevention programs,” said Kinnard. “This year, on Jan. 30, the WLW event will be held at the Eagleton Center and we will team up with Mckenna Franklin and the “Mack Attack” to fight against cystic fibrosis. Also, part of the proceeds will go to benefit the senior programs at the Eagleton.”
The Richmond Fire Department has nine fulltime firefighters and 13 volunteers. Kinnard said plans are in the works to reorganize the Junior Firefighter Program for youth ages 14-17 and a Cadet Program for sixth to eighth graders.
“As you can see, the Richmond Fire Department is committed to the safety of life and property of our community, as well as being involved in many other worthwhile projects,” said Kinnard. “We also want to thank the community for their continued support.”
Photo: Fulltime firefighter Rob Kinnard conducted the tour. In this photo he shows a stuffed animal and small firehat that are given to children when firefighters respond to a house fire or other family emergency. According to Robman, the department could use some more new stuffed animals as he estimates they give out at least 10 per month. (Photo by Brenda Jensen/The Daily News)