Elk Rapids Fire Department Hosts Interactive Open House


Today marks the start of National Fire Prevention Week.

The Elk Rapids Fire Department held an open house this afternoon to teach families about safety measures to prevent a house fire.

Firefighter Ryan Forfinski says having an escape plan ahead of time is always important.

“If we can come around and talk to other people and interact with the community, we can get a better game plan when we get on the scene, so that we don’t have to have a guessing game,” Forfinski said.

Firefighters provided a light-hearted refresher on fire safety tips with demonstrations and activities.

Children could try out a fire hose and explore the inside of the fire trucks.

Firefighters used the jaws of life to extricate a car on display.

Information on using smoke detectors was also available.

Community members were encouraged to ask questions and receive helpful feedback.

“Pretty much this whole month is basically all about bringing [information] together,” Forfinski said. “Fire prevention—I mean, it happens, but it’s not always, it’s not something that happens every single day, especially in a small town like this, because you don’t have giant fires like you do in the city.”

However, the most important part of the day was a special dedication, two years in making.Img 0015

Elk Rapids Fire Chief Ken Williams unveiled the fire department’s new memorial walkway and bench.

“Anyone that has served on the fire department for 15 years or more, will get their name engraved on a brick on the pathway,” Williams said. “So they’ll be forever remembered for that, and then the bench is kind of to memorialize those that have either died in the line of duty, or left us too soon.”

There was definitely a sense of pride and honor throughout the fire department this afternoon as community members showed their support.

To view the memorial or speak with a firefighter, you can visit their website at https://www.elkrapids.com/fire–ems.html.