Thank a First Responder Day is a state-wide recognized event to thank police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and any other profession first on the scene of emergencies. This is the second anniversary for the Communication Club, giving thanks to the Ferndale Police Department previously and Bellingham’s fire station six this year.
The club demoed equipment throughout their tour of the station including taking rides on the ladder truck. The aerial ladder can be adjusted to any angle, turn 360 degrees and can reach up to 95 feet in the air. The view from such a height was awe-inspiring for members of the Com Club.
President of the club, Melisa Nelson stumbled upon Thank a First Responder while scanning the internet. She got in contact with the director of the event and starting planning. While Nelson was the Chair of Budget for the ASWCC, she encouraged the council to participate as well and this year they did so, giving their thanks to the fire fighters of station one, in downtown Bellingham.
A shift for the fire fighters of station six is 24 hours with all of them staying through the night to respond to emergency situations. In the garage of the station, an ambulance, fire engine, ladder truck and two hazmat vehicles sit and wait for that time. The fire station also dispatches paramedics to the scenes of non-life threatening injuries.
“This is our home away from home,” says Captain Brian Flannelly as he stops in the kitchen while walking the Com Club through the station. They also have a gym, complete with a stair master. Some of the fire fighters at the station work out on the machine in full gear that weighs up to 65 pounds.
A member of the club, Jared Tyson, stepped into the outfit in the garage of the station. “I would die,” he said about the weight of the gear that includes an oxygen tank.
At the end of the day as everyone stood in the kitchen around a table filled with cookies, cupcakes and donuts that the club brought, one of the fire men walked into the room and said laughing, “You guys are going to have to eat three-fourths of this food. Remember we’re supposed to try to stay in shape.”