BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — Boone County residents got to hangout with their local fire department on Saturday.
Residents were excited to meet some of their stateline heroes, and the firefighters were equally excited to meet and teach what makes their job so special.
“When you drive by it you don’t notice it,” said Boone County resident Sandy Lechowicz. “Now you’re like, ‘oh, we get to go inside and check things out.'”
Lechowicz was excited to bring her son, nephew and parents to celebrate the Boone County Fire Department District 2’s 75 years of service. Stefan Garcia, Lechowicz’s nephew, said that the open house inspired him to be a firefighter.
“Seeing all the different kind of trucks they have and that they have so many of them, and that we got to go inside of them,” Garcia said.
Residents not only got to sit in a fire truck, but also got to try on gear, use equipment and see a live fire demonstration.
“They made these little doll house sizes and they’re going to burn them, so we’re excited to see how that all works,” Lechowicz said.
Boone County District 2 Firefighter Joe Prokop said that they meet people on their worst days, but Saturday was an opportunity to meet residents and just talk and hangout.
“Not only get to show what we’re doing today, we also have hints of our past,” Prokop said. “We have the original fire truck of the district, so members of the public not only get to meet us and what we are doing today, but they also get snap shot of what this department used to look like.”
Prokop hopes that the open house celebration helps the residents get to know them better and take away some safety tips.
“If we can inspire and educate one or two people out of everyone that shows up, that is an awesome day,” Prokop said.
Lechowicz said she was happy that she and her family got to hangout and live like a firefighter.
“We know they do so much for the community and they put their lives out there, but yet they are so calm and inviting and welcoming to say ‘hey, come on over, check this out, this is what we do,'” Lechowicz said.
Boone County Fire Department District 2 said that they hope to continue to serve the public for another 75 years and more.