The late-summer heat couldn’t stop the party on Saturday at the Columbus Fire Department.
Hundreds of area residents packed the department, 4630 Howard Blvd., to help it celebrate 150 years of service.
“This gives us a chance to reflect on where we came from and where we are,” Assistant Chief Nate Jones said while manning the grill.
Columbus staff and reserve firefighters more than ready, pulling out all of the fire apparatus for people to see up close. Attendees not only got to see the various vehicles, but were able to tour the facility, stay cool thanks to the outdoor splash pad, go through some emergency weather demonstrations, enter drawings for special goodies, and enjoy lunch with a free-will canned food or pet food donation for Columbus Rescue Mission or Erna R. Badstieber Paws and Claws Adoption Center, respectively. Bo’s West came in the clutch by donating hot dogs, buns, chips and water to the fire department for the festivities.
“They (Bo’s West) were a huge part of this,” said Columbus reserve firefighter Dustin Jones, who helped lead the planning of the anniversary celebration.
Nelson said the 150th anniversary is a huge milestone for any organization, so it was important to him and other involved with CFD to host such as event as a way to honor former CFD members who have since passed away or have retired.
Nelson, other reserve firefighters and various CFD full-time firefighters were busy Saturday interacting with the public, passing out plastic fire hats, giving tours and showing off the various vehicles. Many kids made sure to stop by the splash pad to cool off from the intense heat that afternoon.
“This is a great change of pace for us,” Jones said. “We appreciate seeing everybody and thank them all for coming out.”
The assistant chief said the 150th anniversary only comes once, but CFD would look to have more public events.
“Hopefully, we can do this on a yearly basis,” Jones said. “It has been a good time.”