By Kaylee Lindenmuth
Assistant News Editor
Between Oct. 8 and 14, organizations across the country recognized National Fire Prevention Week, including the fire company in Kutztown.
On Oct. 12, the Kutztown Fire Company hosted an open house at 310 Noble Street, giving the community an opportunity to see their station, equipment and learn about the fire service and fire prevention.
In front of the station, firefighters lined up three of the company’s four trucks, including their brand new ladder truck, which Lieutenant Austin Sergas said is the first brand new ladder truck in the company’s 109-year history.
Sergas, KU senior business major said, “Last year, in November, I was elected as the first student to become an officer in the Kutztown Fire Company. Students are an integral part of the organization here.”
According to Sergas, students tend to run daytime calls when much of the older membership is at work.
Sergas says the fire company has been active throughout the week, promoting fire safety at schools in the Kutztown Area.
“The past couple of days, we’ve been going to schools and daycare centers during the day, and talking to students and children there. Tonight is more for the community to come out,” Sergas said during the event.
The event featured an obstacle course for kids, a fire simulation, displays of objects from actual fire incidents and free smoke detectors were handed out.
However, it was the display of fire trucks which brought Katie Goodbrod and son Bentley Fetzer to the event.
“He loves fire trucks. Every time we pass, he goes ‘fire trucks, fire trucks,” Goodbrod said. “The fire company has always been in our lives, forever, so he’s always been around fire trucks, so any chance that he can sit in a fire truck, he wants to.”
And Fetzer did just that, climbing aboard Kutztown’s Rescue 46 to sit in the back seat.
Fetzer was among a multitude of children who came out with their families to enjoy the open house event.
Another KU student serves as a member of the fire company, and highlighted the importance of the event in trying to spark interest in a younger generation, as volunteer firefighter numbers dwindle.
“[Tonight’s event is] really for the kids, to come out and see the trucks, and maybe come and join one day,” said Michael Kulp, a sophomore marine science major serving with the fire company.
“This is the best way to give back to the community,” Sergas said.