The Mason City Fire Fighters have a long history of volunteering in their community. The original firemen who provided fire protection in the City were volunteers. On April 6, 1909 a fully staffed career fire department was created by City Council. However, the fireman did not stop their volunteering to make Mason City a better place. The firemen use to always be the ones who put up the City's Christmas decorations. In days gone by (before the heavy call volume of the ambulance services), the fireman would fix up bicycles which were from the Police Department's impound and donate them to needy kids for Christmas. Of course, throughout the years, there have been Little League teams proudly claiming Mason City Fire Department Local 41's sponsorship.
The first of four major annual events of the fire fighters is the BATTLE OF THE BADGES. This Police vs. FIRE charity hockey game benefits Make-A-Wish foundation. 2014 marks the fourth year for this fun event. Since it's inception, the Make-A-Wish hockey game has raised over $60,000. The fire fighters hope everyone will come and cheer them on at the North Iowa Ice Arena on February 22, 2014.
The oldest, continuous fundraising event is the annual Fill the Boot Campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association over Labor Day weekend. Local 41 (the fire fighters' union) was one of the first Iowa fire departments to join this worthy annual fundraiser. Citizens in Mason City helped Local 41 raise over $8,000 during last year's drive. The fire fighters will take to the streets through the City this year starting on Friday, August 29 and running through Monday, September 1, 2014.
The community event that the fire fighters look most forward to every year is Fire Prevention Week. Fire prevention activities have long been a fun part of October for the fire fighters. From going to schools to show the City's elementary and pre-school kids what a fire engine is to hosting third graders at the Station, Fire Prevention Week turns everyone into a child excited about fire prevention. However, the event that provides the most smiles all around is the annual ride to school in the antique fire engine. Come to the firefighter's Open House on Sunday, October 12, 2014 and register!
Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Fire Prevention Week are both in October. Again the fire fighters see a good opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause in the community. Starting in 2010, the fire fighters started selling commemorative t-shirts. Each year is a different design and colored t-shirt that shows the fire fighters' support of women with cancer in north central Iowa. All profits from the t-shirt sales benefit the Mercy Medical Center of North Iowa Cancer Center. Look for 2014's t-shirts coming out in late August or early September.
Not only do the Mason City fire fighters keep the citizens healthy and safe through their fire fighting and emergency medical services, but Local 41 and the fire fighters help those who need help in our community throughout the year.