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Museum to open for Firefighter Appreciation Day

Firefighter Appreciation Day will be celebrated locally this year as the Pike Firefighter’s Museum Inc. will be open to the public during regular business hours on Tuesday, Feb. 6. Firefighter Appreciation Day is recognized each year on the first Tuesday of February and the museum is located at 5385 Highway 19 south of Zebulon with the driveway under the giant American flag. ’There hasn’t been very much done about Firefighter Appreciation Day until now in Pike County and we plan to hold an annual event at the Pike County Firefighter’s Museum,’ said one of the museum’s founders Ron Snowden. ‘Hopefully next year, we will have the Firedog Wagon up and running and will host an event for locals to attend.’ The Pike Firefighter’s Museum hasn’t held a grand opening yet because organizers are trying to find another location for the museum which features thousands of firefighter memorabilia from all eras of firefighting. ’Everyone is invited to come in and see all the firefighting items and maybe sign up as members. We have memorabilia from around the world and documented items from as far back as 1800,’ said Snowden. ‘All are welcome to join and become a member and help out. The biggest thing we are trying to do is set up a scholarship fund for firefighters’ kids. We need to involve everybody.’ Snowden said almost 75% of the firemen in the United States are volunteers, significantly outnumbering the paid departments. ’Firefighters don’t get thanked a lot but we don’t do it to get thanked either,’ he said. ‘Firefighters don’t just fight fires. They are also cross trained in medical fields to help in medical situations. They still rescue cats out of trees, which has become a joke, but they still do that. Firefighter undertake well rescues and extricate people out of vehicle wrecks. They also teach fire safety in the schools and meet with students to show them not to be scared of firefighters when they are dressed in their turnout equipment.’ ’They offer continuing education to protect citizens,’ said Snowden. ‘Firefighters also do home inspections when requested to help families set up evacuation plans and make sure they have the proper number and placement of smoke detectors.’ Snowden said the Museum needs members and is an effort to promote Pike County and all volunteer firefighters. ’This is about a group of men and women who want to honor the profession of firefighting,’ he said. ‘Eventually every person becomes involved with a firefighter one way or another – either through an accident, emergency or a fire. The way you find a fireman is when they are a little kid. They get that bug in them and then they want to become one and they work towards it until they are out there helping others.’

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