Manawa department thanked for saving home
By Jane Myhra
Appreciation and gifts was not what members of the Manawa Rural Fire Department expected at the Fire Board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16.
John Chaplin attended the meeting to thank the MRFD for saving his house on Sunday, Aug. 14.
As he was riding his bicycle that day, he heard the fire siren and saw the emergency vehicles pass him on the road.
“I thought to myself, ‘those guys have no idea where they are going or what they are going to get into,’” he said.
The next words were harder for Chaplin to say. He sat down, paused and tearfully continued.
“I came over the hill to my house and all the trucks were there … at my house,” he said. “The fire angels saved my house, saved my dog, and made my wife happy.”
Chaplin presented the MRFD with a shop vac, decorative pocket knife and a statue, saying they deserved much more.
“I can’t buy a fire truck,” he said. “But I offer my auctioneering skills (if needed).”
“We have a great group of men and women that proudly serve on the department to protect our community,” said Fire Chief Rob Rosenau. “These members give up a lot to serve on the department. It’s gestures like this that makes it well worth it. Knowing that we touched a family the way we did, is great.”
“We don’t do the job we all do for special recognition, but it is a welcomed surprise when we receive it,” said Assistant Fire Chief Josh Smith.
Also during public comments, the Manawa Fire Board heard a request for assistance with a proposed fundraiser.
David Sarna, of the Manawa Area Veterans Freedom Park Committee, asked if the MRFD could help with his group with a concert next summer.
According to Sarna, the MAVFP plans to bring a concert to the Manawa Rodeo Grounds on the Wednesday night prior to the Mid-Western Rodeo. He said about 30 volunteers are needed and the Manawa Lions Club is busy with the rodeo, so they are asking the MRFD to be a co-sponsor and share the proceeds.
“It would be another neat aspect to the rodeo and it helps another organization,” Sarna said. “It is a win-win for everybody and a way to benefit your organization as well.”
He said it will cost between $25,000-$30,000 for the stage, lighting and sound, and to bring a star-quality performer to town.
Sarna said the plan is to set up the stage in front of the bucking chutes to utilize the arena seating capacity of about 4,200 people. He suggested keeping the ticket prices low for the Wednesday, June 28, event.
According to Sarna, most of the volunteers would be needed prior to event to prepare the venue. Also, workers would be needed on the day of the concert to cook food, sell beer and usher.
Fire Chief Rob Rosenau said he will present the proposal to the MRFD members. He suggested the EMTs also be included, in order to have enough volunteers.
Some of the fire board members questioned the success of a Wednesday night concert.
“People come on any night of the week if there’s a show to be had,” Sarna said.
In other business, the board reviewed financial reports for the MRFD and Manawa Ambulance Service.
Board President Mary Eck requested that preliminary budgets be presented at the Sept. 19 meeting. Both fire and ambulance indicated they expect little to no increases for 2017.
An ambulance bylaw update was approved, pending typographical changes to the newly added employee payroll information.
During his report to the board, Rosenau announced that the annual Firefest is set for Saturday, Sept. 17, at Bear Lake. The event will begin at 2 p.m. with 10 bicycles to give away.