Day of service

Image courtesy of United Way of Douglas County

Chris Hull wants to make sure that firefighters are remembered on Sept. 11.

So the assistant fire chief said any community event where the department gets to provide service, as well as remember the firefighters who sacrificed everything for the safety of the nation, is always special to them. 

“9/11 carries a lot of significance for the fire department,” he said. “We had about 340 firemen that died on 9/11, so as a community as a whole we like to do different events to remember the men that died that day and the men that died in the several years following from illnesses.”

Eudora firefighters are partnering with the Eudora Community Library and United Way for an event Saturday morning when local residents can create emergency preparedness kits for themselves and others in the community. The event is from 9-11 a.m. at the library.

Library Assistant Director Alisha Whitis said they expect about 50 people to attend. Across the county, events are also being hosted in Lawrence and Baldwin City, with a goal to make around 600 emergency preparedness kits across the three cities.

The United Way said the goal of the event is to also provide education and awareness around 9/11, emergency preparedness and first aid. 

“I am looking forward to, for the first time in a while with what has been going on lately, being able to see the community come together for a goal of service,” said Grace Brunner, Americorps member at United Way of Douglas County.  

The Eudora Fire Department will be on site to share safety information and give tours of a firetruck. 

Hull said the department will also bring a community favorite -- a prop that allows community members to shoot water from one of its hose lines at a rotating spindle that rings a bell when hit. 

Whitis said the event is a great reminder for everyone about the lives lost on 9/11, as well as a great way to help others in the community by making the emergency kits. 

“Because the fire department will be here, it is a great time for children to feel comfortable with the fire department,” she said. “So that if they ever have an emergency where first responders need to come to their home, they’re going to be a little bit more comfortable seeing those people in their suits and the big vehicles pulling up.”

Whitis said the event is also a reminder that the Eudora library is so much more than just books.

Volunteers are needed beforehand to help sort through materials for the emergency preparedness kits. Register HERE as a volunteer.

Reach reporter Sarah Motter at eudoratimes@gmail.com.

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