Honoring the county’s volunteer firefighters

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Clay County service clubs will celebrate area firefighters with a special community picnic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday designed to honor the local volunteers. All money raised from the freewill donation burger feed at the Clay County Fair and Events Center will be put toward local department needs as well as the planned Northwest Iowa Public Safety Training Center.
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Picnic to raise funding for Northwest Iowa Public Safety Training Center

Sunday, Clay County area residents are invited to the Clay County Fair and Events Center to celebrate Clay County Firefighter Appreciation Day and support development of the Northwest Iowa Public Safety Training Center. A come-and-go burger picnic event will be conducted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

County service clubs are organizing the appreciation day for firefighters much as they did for law enforcement in February 2017. Organizers for the firefighter event are hoping to generate donations close to the more than $35,000 which came in two years ago.

The Northwest Iowa Public Safety Training Center — also called the fire tower — will be developed on the east side of Spencer to help prepare the training center and county firefighters as they enter a new era of training and education.

Spencer Fire Chief John said the modular, three-story facility is currently planned to be utilized by all departments in the county, as a hub for training classes, hosting national speakers and use by non-local departments. In addition, local law enforcement personnel would be able to utilize the modular facility for their training.

“This training facility is not just to train bulls to pull hose but to train others to make good critical decisions and give them a safe environment to do so,” Conyn said. “That’s why we train.”

“All eight service clubs in the region, the three Kiwanis, three Lions groups, Spencer Jaycees and Rotary are all donating money and the presidents of all those clubs were working on this,” Spencer Rotary President Nancy Naeve said previously. “What we’re trying to do is raise between $20,000 and $30,000 to try and help pay for three pieces of equipment that’s going into that new fire tower.

She continued, “It will be a freewill donation meal for anybody who comes, it’ll be pork burgers, hamburgers, chips, pop, water and cookies. The Clay County Regional Events Center is letting us do it there for free and the Cattlemen, the pork producers, Fareway, Hy-Vee are all donating so that our costs are low. We’re hoping for a great turnout. It’s going to be a good family event, we’ll have little fire hats for the kids and they can meet and shake the hands of firefighters. It’s not only a good way to raise money for this training facility that the whole county is going to use, but also to say thank you to our firefighters. A lot of them are volunteers who are on call a lot of the time.”

Conyn cited three other major items — a King Ceiling prop, a door prop and a roof prop — which fundraising would benefit. The fundraiser also includes an “adopt an axe” program, which focuses on raising enough money to give each fire department in Clay County a fire axe, which cost approximately $220 each.

Content taken from previous story written by Joe Hopper, Daily Reporter staff writer.

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