Last year, the Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department commemorated its 50th anniversary with a celebration and community day event, and they are back again this year, with a free Community Day set for May 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The public is invited to attend the free event, which will be held at the Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department station, located at 124 Reeves Mill Road in Mount Airy.
Bannertown Fire Chief Scottie Chilton started the annual Community Day a few years ago, as a way to say “thank you” to the citizens in the community they serve.
Bannertown Fire Captain Jake Freeman, who has been instrumental in planning this year’s event, said it is open to anyone who wants to come out and learn more about the fire department — “This is for everyone, because without the support of the community, we would not be able to provide the highest caliber of service possible. We would love for everyone to come on out to the fire station to meet the people who volunteer to help protect lives and property.”
At 11 a.m., a memorial service will be conducted to honor firefighters who have died, Freeman said. He added that they would have memorial candles with the names of each firefighter.
There will be live demonstrations throughout the day by firefighters, including a demonstration of an extraction from a car, Freeman shared. The volunteer firefighters will also demonstrate a water brigade and show how quickly they can prepare their gear when called to the scene of the fire.
Multiple fire trucks will be on display, including one of Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department’s newest fire trucks as well as the restored 1960s Baker Pumper Truck, which was the first truck the department used. Freeman said the ladder truck from the Mount Airy Fire Department will also be on display.
“Citizens will have a chance to look inside the trucks and see the different types of equipment we use,” Freeman shared.
There will also be chances for photo opportunities with or without the fire trucks and equipment, he added.
Those who attend will receive one free hot dog for each person, as well as drinks. Door prizes will also be awarded throughout the day, at the top of each hour.
A Child Safety Trailer will be set up at the event, with children invited to go through the simulation in order to learn what to do in case of a fire. Fire safety information will also be distributed.
Also for kids, the Chick-Fil-A Fire Chief cow will make an appearance, which was a big hit at last year’s 50th anniversary celebration, Freeman said. In addition, there will be a bounce house as well as face painting.
Victory Junction Camp Fundraiser
A new addition to this year’s event is a fundraiser for Victory Junction Camp — the “Give Burns the Axe” fundrasier to provide funding for a week at the camp in June when children with burns and skin diseases attend.
“It’s an unforgettable week for those kids,” Freeman said, who visited Victory Junction Camp recently to learn more about how they help children. “I wanted to do something special to reach out to those kids who are in need, and Community Day is a good opportunity for us to do that.”
Those who attend Community Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. may make monetary donations at a special booth set up at the event, and 100 percent of all donations received will go to Victory Junction Camp. Freeman said a group of volunteer firefighters from the department will travel to Victory Junction Camp to present a check after they receive the donations, and he has designed a special t-shirt they will wear, and plans to frame one of the t-shirts to give to the camp.
For more information about the fundraiser and/or the Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department’s website, www.bannertownfiredepartment.com as well as the Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook page.
Reach Jessica Johnson at 719-1933 and on Twitter @MountAiryJess.