Fire engines were parked left and right around the Freshfields Village Green on Thursday, July 2, but they weren’t there on business. Along with two ladder trucks, a smoke house simulator and a gigantic inflatable fire truck slide, the St. Johns Fire Department spent Thursday evening celebrating their first festival of the year in honor of the department’s 50 year anniversary. Children at the event received coloring books with firefighting facts and fire safety instructions, as well as red firefighter hats and pins to commemorate the event. T-shirts were also available for sale, and hot dogs and drinks were provided, complimentary, by the fire department.
Demonstrations were provided by the St. Johns Combat Challenge Team, who showed off their skills by running various obstacle courses, in many cases carrying a 165 pound practice dummy. Most of the firefighters present had been with the department for their whole working career and jokingly referred to the people who had been with the department for ten years as “newbies”. All were happy to share their knowledge, and it was encouraging to hear the passion in their voices as they talked about the days in the life of a firefighter.
The next festival will be held in October on the official 50 year anniversary of the St. Johns Fire Department.