By Amanda Ensinger
In celebration of National Fire Prevention Week, the Prairie Township Fire Department will be hosting an event for the entire family.
The department will be hosting its Food Truck and Fire Prevention Festival from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at 123 Inah Ave.
“This is the first year we have done anything like this,” said Evan Strauss, firefighter and event organizer. “We thought this would be a great way to showcase the fire house and educate residents on National Fire Prevention Week.”
This is the first open house the township’s fire department has done since the early 2000s, so they are excited to show residents how fire services have changed.
“Fire service is a lot better than is was 20 years ago,” Strauss said. “It also is becoming more of a business and is an educational environment. We want to keep that going by continuing to build relationships with the public.”
Strauss said to engage the public, the event will feature hands on activities. Some of these activities will include tours of the fire house and the equipment used, pumpkin painting, a smoke house for kids and face painting.
Food trucks will also be on-hand. Among the confirmed trucks attending is Schmidt’s, Taquitos Taco Truck, Pitabilities and Chicky Chicky Waffle. However, Strauss hopes to secure two to three more.
“Since this is taking place in the fall everything will have a fall theme,” Strauss said. “Everything will be free except for the food trucks.”
During the event, fire department officials will be discussing the importance of smoke detectors. The devices have been a huge focus for the department for the last two years. The department even hosts a Smoke Detector Program where firefighters are visiting 5,000 homes in the township to ensure they have working smoke detectors. If the homes do not have a working smoke detector, the firefighters will replace batteries or provide complimentary new detectors.
“Every weekend we are going door-to-door to check if resident’s have working smoke detectors,” Strauss said. “Our goal is to touch base with every resident in the township about their smoke detector.”
The fire department hopes this event will resonate with community members like the Prairie Township Community Center events have.
“The center has done an excellent job bringing all types of people together and we want to keep that going,” Strauss said. “We have been able to participate in a ton of events because of the community center and we have really enjoyed getting to know residents. We hope this event will continue those efforts.”
Strauss also said it is important to show residents what their tax dollars are being used for.
“We don’t get a lot of people who want to come see the fire house and we want to show them the tools we have because of their tax dollars,” Strauss said. “It is important for people to see what items come from grants and tax dollars so they can see what they are paying for.”
For more details on the Food Truck and Fire Prevention Festival, visit www.prairietownship.org.