Firefighters host last open house at city’s fire station; new home nears

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Although the Niles City Fire Department is getting ready to move to its new fire station on Main Street, business was on as usual when the department held its station open house this Saturday.
The decade-old family event featured the fire department's new Hazardous Materials Response Trailer, equipment demonstrations, guided tours of the building and the "Flash and Flicker Show."
And, based on the turn-out, many families had put the event on their to-do list on what turned out to be an unusually warm October day.
Alicia Stewart, Hanlon's granddaughter, also enjoyed the open house.
Among the drills were stop-drop and roll, and how to vacate a burning building.
Stewart, a Ring Lardner seventh grader, said she also picked up a few safety tips on Saturday.
Chief Larry Lamb, city fire department, said the fire department has received approximately $100,000 over the last year, which has been used to buy new equipment.
Half of that money comes from local donations, Lamb said.
He thinks an open house, besides being a fun and social event, is a good way to let the community see how the fire department has spent its money and what usage the new equipment is intended for.
Lt. Scott Rieth has been with the fire department for 11 years and, although he enjoys his current work place, is looking forward to moving to the new station.
Leaving the building the city fire department has occupied since 1939, however, may end up feeling a little sad, he said.
Which is also why Rieth is excited about a planned picture and equipment display at the new station.
The display will show the fire department's history.
Pictures of fires the fire department has fought in the past, as well as old nozzles and outdated equipment, will be part of the display.
Rieth is also excited about the many possibilities a new station brings.
He said with a new building, the city fire department will have better facilities to host training events for other area fire departments.
A new chapter is about to begin for the fire department that was established in 1859.

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