Area Fire Departments to ‘Get Fired Up for Safety’

Oct. 13 Date Cancelled, Event moved to Oct. 20

Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) Area fire departments will gather together to get families “Fired Up for Safety” through a parade, demonstrations, and more.

The free event returns Sunday, Oct. 13 (Due to weather, this event is moved to Oct. 20) starting with a parade at noon, which routes from the fairgrounds and heads up Central Avenue.

“This is my sixteenth year with this event, and still I am excited hearing the sirens long before seeing all those red fire engines,” said Dar Wernberg, organizer. “I encourage everyone to take the time to watch this parade and stop out and check out each and every department.”

The fire departments will set up in the business parking lots on N. Central Ave. and provide family friendly activities until 3 p.m.

Marshfield Fire and Rescue Department invites kids to bring along their favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal for a parachute drop from the top of its ladder truck. After catching it, kids can pick up fire prevention materials at the nearby info booth and snag a plastic firefighter helmet.

“It’s nice for the community to get together and have everybody learn about safety, and get to know each department and what they can offer,” said Pete Fletty, Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention.

Since the various departments end up working together on mutual aid calls, the event is also an opportunity to get to know each other and meet new faces, he said.

Other activities at the event include a barrel challenge between the McMillan and Arpin fire departments, where each team uses fire hoses to attempt to move a barrel across their opponent’s line.

Cameron Fire Department will be hosting tours of a safety trailer to show how to escape from a kitchen or house fire. Richfield Rural Fire Department will use a “rollover convincer” to show what happens when someone isn’t wearing their seatbelt during a car rollover. Lincoln Fire Department will demonstrate how to use a fire extinguisher, and Hewitt Area Fire Department will have a safety demonstration.

McMillan Fire Department will host a Stop, Drop, and Roll course where kids can learn how to call 911 for help and escape from a house fire by crawling. The course is an opportunity for them to see firefighters in full gear.

“We all see firefighters with their coats and helmets on, but rarely see them with full face gear, which can look very scary to a your child,” said Wernberg. “This demonstration shows them not to be afraid.”

There will be a youth challenge which helps teach the Stop, Drop, and Roll technique. Youth can turn in the slip they receive for a scoop of custard at Culvers or a free game of bowling at Rose Bowl Lanes.

Other games and educational materials will be available. If not on call, Life Link III will do a flyover during the parade and event. During the event, the public can vote who they think deserves to be Fire Department of the Year for promoting fire safety.

Wernberg first collaborated on Get Fired Up for Safety back in the summer of 2003, when the owner of Marshfield Culver’s, Conroy Soik, wanted to organize something for the public.

“Kris Leonhardt and I met with Conroy and tossed out ideas until we came up with doing something to honor our fire departments and at the same time educate the public on fire safety in the home,” she said.

The first year saw 12 departments that were more than willing to participate. “It was so amazing to see all those fire engines and equipment travel up Central Avenue with their lights and sirens going,” she said. Each year, Culver’s serves a meal to all the firefighters and the volunteers and continues to be involved.

Sadly, Conroy passed away this April at the age of 56. The event remains a testament to an idea that grew to be so much more than expected.

“He will be missed dearly. His smiles showed how thrilled he was to be a part of something that was educational, and give these departments the opportunity to have a fun day with their members,” Wernberg said.

While a committee comes together to organize the event, she said it’s the fire departments who make it a success.

Get Fired Up for Safety takes place in the parking lots of Culvers, Rose Bowl Lanes, House of Heating, Gross Motors of Marshfield, Pioneer Bank, Century 21, and Festival Foods. In the event of rain, it will be postponed to Oct. 20.

A map is available here: 2019 Map Get Fired Up