Laughs could be heard around the room, smiles and great conversation underway. The Baxter Rural Fire Department Sixth Annual Hot Roast was a time for everyone to come together, have some great food and help out a worthy cause.
“It’s an amazing turnout,” Baxter Fire Chief Brock Hansen said. “It is a big deal for the whole town.”
In the three hours the volunteer crew served up delicious pork sandwiches, creamy cheesy potatoes, green beans, baked beans and a table full of a variety of desserts, the whole town might have stopped in. The efforts double up by helping fund needed equipment for the department and provide a fun evening for the family.
“Every year we do a fireman’s ball and most of our monies would come in through donations in the mail, we would send out yearly letters,” Hansen said. “We used to have a dance, then we moved it to the bar, then we thought we would get it back to more of a family-oriented event. It has been ongoing for many years, we have just changed the structure.”
The meat for the meal was donated by a local pork producer. Everybody on the 22 member volunteer fire and six-member EMS crew chip in to make the event a success
“Don and Cheryl Ritter did a lot of the work, smoked it and got it prepped and everybody pitches in and it just works,” Hansen said.
Along with the meal, the department brought back the Blank Children’s Hospital Fire Safety House. It allows kids to learn fire safety tips in a mobile house, including what to do if the door is hot, what to do in a smokey area and how to climb out of a window safely.
The department previously had the Fire Safety House at the event three years ago. This year’s gathering is the first event it has been to since the pandemic shut down activities, Hansen said.
In years past, funds raised have gone toward radio communication upgrades. This year, the department is focusing on a need brought up from the pandemic.
“This particular fundraiser we are trying to raise money to get a specific washing machine, bunker gear cleaner. With everything we have gone through in the last year, we’re focusing on cleanliness of our PPE and our gear,” Hansen said.
While a majority of their funds still come in from mail-in donations, the hog roast has become a tradition the community and department look forward to every year.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org