I take great pride in being a firefighter’s wife. For most of our 28 years together, Randy has either been a volunteer or a career firefighter. Countless men and women dedicate their lives to the protection and preservation of life and property, things that truly mean a lot to us all.
Over that amount of time you would think one would get used to a lifestyle that is much different than most people. Many times there are interrupted meals, holidays apart and stories of life-threatening experiences from the day before. Our sons have grown up around pagers, fire alarms, red lights, and sirens and vehicles that can do all kinds of seemingly miraculous things. We all tend to be independent, strong people willing to go that extra mile for our fellow man or woman or child. We have a way of life that brings us to a strong sense of public service which accounts for the fact that many spouses are nurses, teachers, firefighters or even police officers.
Many times I get questions from people that live here and moving here, asking what is the difference between Portage and Portage Township? The answer is always the same; the city of Portage, the town of Ogden Dunes and South Haven make up the township we call Portage Township. Each of three areas have services and governments that are needed for that particular entity and they all share the Portage Township schools.
It should be a well-known fact by now that the fire department services in these three communities vary but they all have mutual aid agreements to back each other up. That, for me, is very important because as the buildings get bigger and more go up in our fair land, we need many men and women to be right in there helping put out that inevitable fire or saving that life.
While Portage has a full-time fire department; Ogden Dunes and South Haven have volunteer departments. South Haven does maintain a full-time Advanced Life Support ambulance crew as well. South Haven Fire Department is under the jurisdiction of Portage Township Trustee, Brendan Clancy.
A volunteer by definition is a person who takes on a service or duty without compensation. they are people that have the passion to help others just because it makes a difference in someone else’s life.
South Haven is thought to be one of the largest if not the largest township entity in the state and this Saturday, South Haven Fire Department will be hosting an open house to celebrate its 50th anniversary serving the Portage Township community. The open house will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to check out their equipment, their station, fire prevention material and of course food. The Band of Brothers will be on hand with your favorite bagpipe tunes.
There will be a parade through South Haven of all the firefighting apparatus at 10 a.m. and at 1 p.m. they will have an official “wetting” of their new fire engine. The wetting is similar to a christening of a boat only instead of champagne it is ceremonially washed and rolled into service by the crew.
Come out and join Chief Bill Lundy and the members of the South Haven Fire Department celebrate 50 years of service to Portage Township.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion.