Community eats with firefighters

Grinnell students often go for long periods of time without leaving campus. Because of homework and a never-ending list of scheduled events on campus, the interaction that students have with Grinnell residents is limited. However, this past Sunday, Oct. 3, those who had the guts to crawl from their beds before noon had the opportunity to hit up a bumping party called the Annual Grinnell Fire Department Fire Prevention Breakfast.

Held annually at the Grinnell Fire Department, the breakfast serves as both a fundraiser for the local fire department and a chance for people from all over the Grinnell community to come together and eat scrumptious pancakes, eggs and sausages. Everyone from local farmers to Grinnell College students and their parents to town residents came out for the event.

In addition to meeting local citizens, the breakfast offered a chance for Grinnell College students to see their professors in a more natural, unstressed environment. Also, many students discovered that that the rumor is true—professors, just like the rest of us, love to eat pancakes.

When asked why he loves the pancake breakfast, Peter Jacobson, Biology, said, “It’s delicious.”

Jacobson and his family have attended the breakfast every year since moving to Grinnell.

“The kids love seeing the equipment, talking to the firefighters, the food is good. It’s a nice intersection of folks from the college, folks from the town, folks from the outlying areas. It’s just a great community event,” he said.

For many students the breakfast offered something a little bit different than typical Sunday breakfast.

“These pancakes are just so fluffy,” said Brittany Silver ’14, who attended the event. “I can’t believe it.”

The usual turnout for the breakfast is around 800 to 1,000 people, but this year there must have been something in the water, or food, that made people get up and get out. This year a total of 1,630 people were in attendance.

“The breakfast is used to raise funds for the Grinnell Fire Department,” said Fire Chief Daniel J. Sicard. “The department covers not only the City of Grinnell but about 150 square miles around it.”

Therefore not only are the men and women in the department responsible for saving the campus from burning down during 10/10, they also protect everything from the Grinnell residents to the farm houses in the distant fields.

“There are five full-time firefighters and 28 volunteers. The money raised is spent on equipment, training, repairs and fire prevention,” Sicard said.

Recently the volunteers purchased a new firefighting truck, which ran in the range of $85,000. This truck replaces one purchased by the volunteers some 20 years ago.

The event was truly a success, according to Sicard. The fire department already has big plans for the money raised at the event.

“We have not got a report from the Breakfast Committee on the total dollar amount,” Sicard said. “[But] I would guess it is around $10,000- $12,000. The funds from this year’s event are going to go towards an off-road 4×4 gator type vehicle for grass fires.”