Three area fire departments hosted their annual open houses during Fire Prevention Week last week.
The Nisswa event Tuesday, Oct. 8, featured fire trucks on display in the fire hall parking lot along with a North Memorial Health ambulance, a Brainerd Department of Natural Resources forestry off-road track vehicle, a city of Nisswa snowplow and a city police car.
At dusk, a North Memorial Health helicopter landed in the parking lot.
Smokey Bear gave kids hugs and high fives, kids played in a jumphouse and families could have a hot dog dinner.
Pequot Lakes children and families were treated to food, fun and fire truck rides Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the fire hall.
Kids tried to put out simulated fires with a garden hose and played in the jumphouse when they weren't enjoying their dinner, and firefighters treated everyone with a showcase of how the department extinguishes propane tank fires.
The Pine River Fire Department sold out of four roasting pans of chili during its Saturday, Oct. 12, open house.
Children present were able to ride the fire truck, try on bunker gear, meet firefighters, take a swing at a pinata and more.
"Each year we see growth in the community's support and it truly means a lot," said Mary Wynn, with the department. "All proceeds went to our First Responder program. Many of our First Responders are just emergency medical responders (EMRs) and only respond to EMS calls, along with some of our firefighters that respond to EMS calls as well. Our First Responder program is an important role in the community and within our department. Usually arriving before the ambulance, getting everything ready so when they do arrive on scene , the patient is ready to be transported."
Following the open house and chili feed, teams had a go at the second annual corn hole tournament. The winning team included Derek Wangberg and Jake Freeman, with Chad and Jonathan Shoegren in second, and Allen Knutson and Brando Anderson in third.