Fun-sized for families

Mountain Lake firefighters welcome youngsters, their families to ‘their shed’



The firefighters of Mountain Lake Fire & Rescue welcomed families with young children to the 11th-annual Family Fun Fair this evening (Wednesday, October 11) at the Mountain Lake Fire Station. The event was for families with children up to 12 years of age.

The Family Fun Fair is held each year in conjunction with National Fire Safety Prevention Week.

Families visiting the fire station were able to get an up-close look at fire-fighting equipment and trucks – as well as the ambulance of the Mountain Lake Ambulance Service – along with explore all of the vehicles.

Display booths, representing community and county agencies, included Sanford Clinic-Mountain Lake, Des Moines Valley Health and Human Services, Cottonwood County 4-H and Mountain Lake Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE). At each booth, parents about the and the opportunity to learn about the services the agency provides, while the children had fun with an activity, game or craft.

In addition, each child received a free book and fire safety stickers courtesy of the Mountain Lake Early Childhood Initiative (ECI).

A free light supper of sloppy Joes, chips, cookie and juice was served by Reva Hulzebos of the ECI, along with the firefighters. The meal was prepared by Good Samaritan of Mountain Lake.

Sponsors for the event included Mountain Lake Fire & Rescue and the Mountain Lake ECFE, in partnership with the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF).

Below is a photo gallery from this evening’s family funtime:


MIKAYA SCHROEDER, LEFT and her sister, Kennedy Schroeder, right, check out the titles prior to selecting their free books, provided by the Mountain Lake Early Childhood Initiative (ECI).


JEAN HABERMAN, REPRESENTING the Mountain Lake ECI, is ready to “sticker it” to Family Fun Fair attendees.


REVA HULZEBOS, OF both the ECI and Good Samaritan Society of Mountain Lake, dishes up a heaping helping of sloppy Joe. The Good Samaritan Society of Mountain Lake prepared the free meal. At back left is Mountain Lake firefighter Scott Pankratz,, manning the juice cooler.


EZRA SAVAGE MAKES his way down the supper’s buffet line ahead of his two sisters and dad.


KEELEY CLASSEN TAKES a bite of her sloppy Joe. Her dad, Ken Classen, is a volunteer firefighter with Mountain Lake Fire & Rescue.


ANOTHER MOUNTAIN LAKE firefighter, John Carrison, relishes the rank of “Captain Kernel” for the evening, with this tour of duty operating the popcorn machine.


AT THE SANFORD Clinic-Mountain Lake booth, Jayda Louangsaphakdy goes fishing.


JUSTIN LING WINS big time at the Cottonwood County 4-H booth by tossing bean bags into Jack O’ Lantern bowls.


THE YOUNG PARTICIPANTS in the art project at the Mountain Lake Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) booth make “Fire Safety” Dalmation Dogs – finishing them off by adding the dog’s “spots” by dabbing them on using ink from an ink pad. Above Matthew Sumner is almost done with his “best friend.” Kids could also get a fire safety and prevention “tattoo.” Matthew’s dad, Jason Sumner, is a Mountain Lake firefighter.


MOUNTAIN LAKE POLICE Chief Tim Coners displays a completed “Fire Safety” Dalmation Dog.


FIREFIGHTER RECRUITMENT BEGINS at a young age. Jacob Pankratz, son of Mark and Jill Pankratz, takes the wheel of Mountain Lake Fire Department’s Truck #92. Some day Jacob may actually follow in his dad’s footsteps as another volunteer Mountain Lake firefighter.


ONE RIG OF the Mountain Lake Ambulance Service fleet was also on hand to explore. Ambulance Squad members provided a “scavenger hunt” for visitors, taking them inside the ambulance to search for specific items used by the EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians). Above, Braxton Tollefson, left, and Heidi Pfeiffer, right front, along with her grandma, Janice Herrig, back right, mark off their respective checklists.
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