Don’t worry if you see smoke and flames on Saturday outside the Columbus Fire Department. Members will be grilling hot dogs as part of the organization’s 150th anniversary celebration.
“It’s a big milestone. A century-and-a-half of the department,” Assistant Fire Chief Nate Jones said. “Technology and everything have changed so much, even how we approach the job has changed compared to 150 years ago.”
As such, CFD opted to host an anniversary celebration from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19th, at its headquarters, 4630 Howard Blvd. All residents are welcome to come out to check out the facility on the west side of town that was funded by half of a $16 million bond approved by voters and opened its doors in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic hindered plans for an initial open house, though that did eventually happen in 2021.
This weekend’s event gives the public another chance to see the facility or for the first time if they missed it back during the 2021 open house. The headquarters boasts increased workspace, a positive pressurized living space to stop the spread of illness and extra laundering facilities, handwashing stations and more. It also features ample space to get trucks in and out, a far cry from its old cramped space downtown where the Columbus Community Building is now located. That old space that has since been torn down made responding to calls difficult.
Fire Chief Ryan Gray said he’s looking forward to people once again being able to see the facility.
“We want them to tour the station and see all the apparatus and things we carry,” Gray said. “We’ll be here to answer questions. It’s going to be a great opportunity to see what they’ve provided for us and what we’re working out of every day.”
Always looking to help those in need, CFD officials decided to put the hot dogs, chips, buns and water donated by Bo’s West to good use by providing lunch to attendees with the hopes they’ll donate to local nonprofits. Jones said CFD will accept free-will donations of canned pet food for Paws and Claws or canned food for Columbus Rescue Mission.
Those who attend can also expect plenty of kids’ activities, raffle tickets and prizes throughout the day.
Jones and Gray said the entire CFD team is looking forward to seeing Columbus this weekend.
"It’s always nice to have the support of our community … They have been more than gracious with all the stuff we need to keep current in our jobs and advance the department,” Jones said. “This weekend will be about reflecting on where we came from and where we are now.”