There were clear blue skies Saturday, June 2, in California as the California Fire Department held its Annual Barbecue at the Village Green Shopping Center. Slabs of ribs, half-chickens, pork steak sandwiches along with their famous Firehouse pulled pork sandwiches were served along with cool drinks.
"It is just an excellent day," Chief Allen Smith said. "The weather could not be better. There have been times we have had to fight the elements. It is always wonderful to come out here when we have a beautiful day. Good weather encourages the crowd to come out and there have also been other neat events going on today at the shopping center. People are turning out and having a good time."
Smith said the funds they raise are going to be used throughout the year in various ways such as giving to charitable donations for those in need, passing out smoke detectors to the community and for meals during training or in the event of emergencies.
"I feel very strongly about the smoke detector program," Smith said. "We buy smoke detectors, canvas the community and get them out to everybody. We want to make sure everyone in the city has proper smoke detectors. We also install the detectors."
Smith added the event is always a good way for the community to come out and also see some of their equipment. This year some of the equipment, a firetruck, had to go on a run as there was a brush fire which needed putting out. Being able to connect with community is what the fire department is all about according to Smith.
"That is what we do," he said, "These guys are all volunteers. And they do this job for the pride of the community and to protect their neighbors. That is what it is all about. We just have a good cohesion between the firefighters and those we protect. I think they respond and really support and appreciate what we do for the community. The response has been excellent. There has been a line since we started."
Smith said they are always so overwhelmed with the support they receive at all their events. He added it means a lot to everyone at the department and motivates them as they go forward serving the area. For more information about the California Fire Department, call 573-796-1987 for non-emergencies and 911 in case of an emergency.