Firetrucks were lined up in front of the Highlands Fire & Rescue station, families took rides on a firetruck, and firefighters were cooking up hot dogs for visitors at HFR’s annual Open House on Saturday.
HFR Chief Ryan Gearhart said the event began as a fundraiser 68 years ago and has evolved into an annual tradition. However, with a steady flow of visitors from a supportive community throughout the day, the event ended up raising over $6,000.
Gearhart said all money raised goes into HFR’s benevolent fund, which is used to help out firefighters who have been hurt.
“If a firefighter gets hurt or gets hospitalized, we can help out financially,” said Gearhart. “We greatly appreciate all of the donations and all the support.”
Last year’s Open House was cancelled due to the pandemic and Gearhart said to his knowledge it was the first time HFR did not hold the Open House since the department’s inception in 1953.
Gearhart added that he’s hoping next year’s Open House will be held at the new station being built on Franklin Road across from the Highlands Post Office. Construction of the new HFR station is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2022.