The Sparks Fire Department hosted yet another successful annual pancake breakfast and community event last weekend, met with beautiful weather to celebrate its 30th year. From 8 a.m. until noon, families, firefighters, locals, and City of Sparks staff gathered at 1605 Victorian Avenue to tour Sparks Fire Station 1, enjoy breakfast, and/or participate in the First Alarm 5k run.
This year’s event had almost 600 people come by to fill their bellies with pancakes, eggs, ham, juice and coffee before watching firefighters give demonstrations on a live kitchen fire, using a fire extinguisher, and the jaws of life vehicle extrication. Future firefighters could participate in the junior firefighter challenge and take pictures with Sparky.
“It was a very successful event,” says Sparks Fire Chief Jim Reid. “We had a little obstacle course for kids; it’s always exciting for them to pull a hose and squirt water, climb through tunnels. The live kitchen fire demo is also always a big hit,” he adds.
The turnout was about the same as last year and there was a steady flow of people getting breakfast and touring the fire station. Reid says that he also talked to two couples who recently moved to Sparks (one from the Bay Area and one couple from New York) who were pleased that Sparks Fire took the time to host this event.
“They said they’ve never seen anything like this; they were impressed that they could come into the fire department and meet the staff,” Reid says.
City of Sparks Mayor Ron Smith and councilmembers Donald Abbott, Paul Anderson, and Kristopher Dahir were also on-hand to flip flapjacks. Dahir even ran in the First Alarm 5k race with entry fees going towards the creating and distributing public safety education materials as well as ProjectSAFE- a program that gives free smoke detectors to homes in Sparks built before 1994.
“I’ve been running in the First Alarm 5k every year for the last six years or so and I think it’s fantastic that they added this element to the event to get people active. All the finances go towards safety and putting in smoke detectors so it’s a good cause,” Sparks Councilman Dahir says.
His favorite part of the run is the beginning where he can cruise through the community and at the end where pancakes await. A highlight this year was that he also could challenge himself to try to keep up with the new recruits from Truckee Meadows Community College that are integrating themselves into the fire department.
“The best thing about the whole event though from the run to the pancakes and everything else is how all the community comes together to get to know our fire crew,” adds Dahir.
“My favorite part (of the event) is interacting with the people in a way that doesn’t involve calling 911. I enjoy getting to know the public we serve that’s not in an emergency situation, we can have more conversations in a fun, relaxed environment,” says Reid.
The Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District recently adopted a proclamation distinguishing this October as Fire Prevention Month and wants to remind all Washoe County citizens to be aware of their surroundings, create defensible space, and establish an evacuation plan well in advance before the event of a fire. TMFPD Fire Chief Charles Moore also wants to prompt everyone to change their batteries in their smoke detectors every six months.
TMFPD will be hosting an open house this Saturday, October 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at Station #46 at 500 Rockwell Boulevard in Spanish Springs where the community can take a tour of the station, fire engines, and chat with the local firefighter crew.