By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Saturday, volunteers at Northeast Lauderdale Volunteer Fire and Rescue will host their annual Pancake Breakfast fundraiser to help defray the cost of operating the fire department.
The event will take place from 6-11 a.m. at the firehouse, located at 396 Briarwood Road. There is no set price but donations will be accepted for the breakfast that includes pancakes, sausage and a drink.
"Just whatever someone feels they can give is fine with us," Fire Chief Mike Marlow said. "We went to just donations about seven years ago because we just didn't have the time to sell tickets. The community has responded very well and made this our major fundraiser for the year."
"We have some great people who we serve and they recognize how important it is for us to be equipped with good, reliable gear," Marlow said.
The volunteer fire department relies on donations for much needed equipment, firefighters' gear, maintenance on fire engines and brush trucks and gasoline to keep them on the road.
Marlow is grateful for the community support of the pancake fundraiser
"Each year seems to outdo the previous one," Marlow said.
Even though members of the Board of Supervisors help greatly with the acquisition of the larger ticket items for the fire department, such as the fire engines and brush trucks, the smaller items needed to conduct safe and efficient firefighting operations such as turnout gear, helmets, gloves, boots, axes, and so forth, are the responsibility of the department. These smaller ticket items are not cheap.
"It is like anything else," Marlow said. "The more you use something, the more wear and tear it gets. We are constantly having to replace something."
In addition to the gear used by the volunteers, Marlow said some of the proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards fire prevention programs the department teaches to elementary school children.
"Those programs are important in teaching the children about how fire starts, what to do when a fire is in the home, and how to be safe around the home," Marlow said.
Marlow said on average the department prepares around 300 breakfast plates each year. He said for those wanting to come by and enjoy a good, hot breakfast, to bring their appetite because the pancake batter never ends.
"Think of it as an investment for the future," Marlow said. "If we are ready to respond to an event, it might be yours. So the home or life you are saving may be your own."