Morenci’s fire department makes a big presence on Main Street with its attractive brick-faced fire hall. Department members are often in the public eye, whether it’s from Tuesday night training sessions, adding to the festivities of a parade, or selling chicken at one other fund-raisers.
But it’s not that often that citizens see the firefighters dressed in protective gear and doing what they’re trained to do—quickly, efficiently and safety extinguish a fire.
That’s both a good thing and a bad thing. The community is fortunate that fires are few and far between. Devastating losses might seem to happen all too often, but looking back through the years, large blazes aren’t all that common—in part because of the actions of the fire department.
The infrequency of fires means that department members don’t put their training into action as often as they might like. This isn’t to suggest that department members want more flames; instead, it’s a recognition that practice makes perfect and actual fire fighting isn’t a common experience here.
To stay fresh with the techniques and learn new ones, small town fire department members are required to put in enormous amounts of time—time away from families—to study and practice so when the real thing arrives, they’ll be ready to act.
Morenci’s department has scheduled an open house Saturday afternoon to celebrate 175 years of fighting fires in the community. As one organizer put it, “We want to share with the community that’s supported us tremendously in the past.”
Department members are a proud bunch, not only for the skills they’ve learned but also for the equipment they’ve managed to accumulate over the years—those big trucks that, fortunately, are not called into service all that often.
Stop in at the station Saturday and express your gratitude to the men and women who give up so much of their time to prepare for the time when they might be needed.