The Estherville Fire Department is firing up the grill this Sunday for its Pancake Breakfast at the fire hall. Serving is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
An annual event since 2003, the breakfast raises funds to help the firefighters acquire equipment they need to do their job. The fire department previously held a golf tournament before reverting to the pancake breakfast fundraiser.
This year's fundraiser also includes the raffle of a print with the drawing on Monday. Firefighters will be selling tickets at the Estherville Farm and Home Show this Friday and Saturday.
Last year's pancake breakfast raised somewhere between $4,500 and $5,000. That money helped purchase 20 new air bottles, which cost around $400 apiece. The remainder of the funds for that purchase came from the fire department's "No-Dance Dance."
Pancake breakfast promoter Mark More said this year proceeds will help purchase turn-out (or bunker) gear-the equipment firefighters use when entering a burning structure.
More said it costs $1,600 just for the pants and the coat.
"That doesn't include the helmet and the boots," More said.
The Estherville ambassadors recently donated money to buy one set of bunker gear.
The plan is to purchase another six or seven with money raised from the pancake breakfast.
The Estherville Fire Department's roster currently numbers 26.
However only a core group of six to eight firefighters are those who enter the interior of a burning structure.
"Their gear normally gets replaced first," More said.
The bunker gear normally last about 10 years.
Some other items purchased over the years include a 'multi-ladder' and providing matching grant for the mini-pump outfit that helps put out grass fires.
"The community has been great and helped us out a lot," said assistant fire chief Greg Langford.
""We want to thank the community for everything they've done and keep us doing what we do," added More.