Ishpeming Fire Department to host annual Neighborhood Block Party

A large crowd gathers at a past National Night Out event in Ishpeming. More than 500 people turned out to celebrate the importance of community. The 2017 event is set for Thursday. (Journal file photo)

ISHPEMING — Residents of the Ishpeming community who want to get to know their volunteer firefighters better will have that chance Thursday.

The Ishpeming Volunteer Fire Department will host a Neighborhood Block Party from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the IFD Fire Hall, 100 S. Lake St., in downtown Ishpeming.

Youth, and curious adults, will have the chance to see the department’s fire trucks and other equipment first-hand.

IFD volunteers will be on hand at the event to give tours of the historic building, serve hot dogs, chips, pop and water, and answer residents questions, according the the city of Ishpeming website.

“This is a good chance for residents to meet their firefighters and get to know them a little better,” IFD Fire Chief Ed Anderson said. “These guys all have day jobs and live in the community.”

Anderson said residents will also have the opportunity to view a demonstration model of a Sutphen aerial platform truck.

The truck is a representation of what the department will purchase if a proposed $850,000 fire equipment millage is approved by voters during an Aug. 8 special election.

The new truck would be equipped with a 75-foot aerial ladder and bucket, a water pump, a minimum 500-gallon water tank, the ability to carry a minimum of 1,000 feet of 4-inch diameter hose and 115 feet of ground ladders.

Anderson said encouraging community involvement in the IFD, which is currently seeking volunteers, is another important purpose for the event.

“If you have ever wondered about being a volunteer firefighter and have some extra time to devote to your community, come down and talk to us. It’s a great opportunity,” Anderson said. “Every year or so we have one or two volunteers that have to step away for a variety of reasons. We certainly would like to have a group of people that can step in and fill the void.”

Anderson said applicants are not required to possess any firefighting or emergency response experience or certifications in order to apply for a volunteer firefighter position.

The Neighborhood Block Party event is free of charge, Anderson said.