Methodists treat firefighters to BBQ in Ferrisburgh

FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh volunteer firefighters were treated to a special thank-you barbecue by the North Ferrisburgh United Methodist Church on Wednesday, June 22. Bob Jenkins, the retired fire chief who has served with the department for over 54 years, could not remember anyone ever doing this for the Ferrisburgh firefighters.
The Mission Team at the church came up with the idea early in the year. The firefighters and their families were invited and enthusiastically responded. About 120 people gathered at North Ferrisburgh United Methodist Church, at 227 Old Hollow Road in North Ferrisburgh. We enjoyed the gorgeous summer evening, the fellowship, the great food and the firetruck tours.
Pastor Kim Hornung-Marcy opened the event with a special thanks to all the firefighters gathered for the many hours of training and service they give to Ferrisburgh and neighboring towns. We recognized everyone who had served, starting with those who have served for zero to 5 years and going all the way up to two firefighters who had served over 48 years.
Bob Jenkins, with 54 years of service, was the longest-serving firefighter present. The family of Mike Coyle, assistant fire chief, has five generations of family who have served our community as firefighters. Art Cohn, Ferrisburgh Fire Department chaplain, led us in a prayer then we all enjoyed the meal, the fellowship and the firetruck tour offered by the cadets.
The Ferrisburgh firefighters are a dedicated group of about 40 people. Cadets can begin training at age 14. When a call comes in all respond. That means four to 40 people show up for a call depending on the time of day or night. They often help Charlotte with calls. Neighboring firefighting groups support the Ferrisburgh firefighters as well. They often see one to seven calls a week.
The cadets and youngest full firefighters gave all the children at the barbecue a great tour of the four firetrucks at the event and went over many safety ideas as well. We all learned that while the firefighters are not engaging that many fires these days, they still receive two to seven calls a week often for motor vehicle accidents. With Route 7 going through Ferrisburgh there are lots of these kinds of calls and they often come at night. Firefighters informed us that fires today are much faster and more toxic than years ago, because we use so much plastic in homes and businesses. A fully outfitted firefighter with coat, pants, oxygen tank and helmet is carrying around 80-100 extra pounds of equipment.
North Ferrisburgh United Methodist church was glad to offer our heartfelt thanks to our local firefighters. Ferrisburgh can be very proud of how dedicated, enthusiastic and hard-working they are.
Editor’s note: This article was submitted by Christine Steadman.

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