Fire department collects for food shelf

During fire prevention week, the Wadena Fire Department had about 13 firefighters and 10 emergency vehicles in a parade collecting items for the food shelf.

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With lots of waves, "thank yous," and "this is awesome" along the way, Wadena Fire Department fire marshal Brent Johnson accepts a donation from Rachael Oehlke. Her husband Cory and their children Hunter, Parker and Aften took in the parade from the curb. Many community members enjoyed the parade on Oct. 6, especially since June Jubilee wasn't able to happen this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal

The sirens and horns filling the streets on the evening of Oct. 6 brought the joy of a parade as well as the gladness in giving to others. Community members waved at the firefighters, waited outside their homes with food donations or watched from their houses as the firefighters made their way through Wadena.

Wadena Fire Department fire marshal Brent Johnson said the parade was a way to be a part of the cure not the problem. The food given to the Wadena Food Shelf is to help people during the uncertainty of the economy and school, he said.

The parade included about 13 firefighters and 10 Wadena Fire Department fire engines and trucks coursing through town to the delight of many, along with some questions from those unaware of the parade.

With the parade, people were able to see firefighters in a fun environment rather than only when a fire or an accident happens. Johnson noted people usually have this interaction with the firefighters during their open house which wasn’t a safe option for the community due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community members donated a total of one pickup truck bed and $60 in cash donations, according to firefighter and secretary Andrew Browne.


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The young twins of the Lane family, Gannon and Mason, along with their mother Kimberly (right) and brother Payton bring their food donations to the trailer, and Mason (orange hat) even tried to climb into the trailer. Johnson jokingly said, "Come back in a few years and you can be a firefighter." Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal

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"You know what kind of dog a firefighter has, right?" Johnson asked community members including Makenna Hammes (center) as the donations for the Wadena Food Shelf grew. Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal

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In between snaking from one side of the road to another to collect food donations, Johnson places a new donation in the trailer. He remarked that people are happy to see the firefighters and fire engines as well as enjoy doing good. Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal

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Each with cans above their heads waiting for the firefighters to stop at their house, community members excitedly deliver their food donations. Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal


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Near the end of the parade route, the trailer is about halfway full of food donations. Thirteen firefighters and their families along with about 10 fire engines and trucks were a part of the parade. Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal

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