Fire Departments opens doors for open house
On Sunday, Oct. 10, I visited the open house at our Fire Department on Kansas Avenue, and I was so impressed. All the trucks were out for the local adults and children to inspect. Impressive demonstrations also took place.
I couldn’t help but marvel at the changes and improvements since that first meeting I went to in May 1946. There were about 15 to 20 Lansing residents there along with Leavenworth attorney, John Murray. Mr. Murray, who just returned from military duty, was appointed attorney for the new Volunteer Fire Department. The meeting was in the grade school gymnasium, now the Zinser Apartment building. During the next six years, plans were finalized and a small building was built by state prison inmate labor on the corner of U.S. Highway 73 and Kansas Avenue, where it is still located. Over the years it had been added on to three times, and finally after nearly 45 years in 1999, a new facility was built with prison labor and firemen helping. It took a total of 6,433 hours of volunteer labor to build the new station. It has seven bays, fire chief’s and officer’s office, training room and weight room to keep our firefighters fit. The dedication was in June 2001. At that time, the community was invited to tour the new facility along with having a picnic lunch.
It became apparent that the Delaware Township Fire Department could not continue to cover the increased daylight number of calls, so our fire chief approached the leaders of the Delaware Township, the city of Lansing and the High Prairie Township about the formation of a new fire district. On Jan. 1, 2004, the Leavenworth County Fire District Number One was open for business. Delaware Township Fire Department became a fond memory.
In 1953, with Fire Chief Skeet Bemis at the helm, the training for using the new truck took place with 31 volunteers. Now our department consists of 21 volunteers and five paid employees, with lots more equipment and modern fire trucks. Fire Station 2 was added to District One on Aug. 1 2005. This station is at 187th Street in Leavenworth County. A proposed Station 3 is in the plans for the future.
You can see how our town is growing and our fire chief, Rick Huhn, and his assistants and volunteers are doing a wonderful job keeping us safe. In 2009 they answered 1,077 calls with a minimum of two or three being house fires.