Community enjoys Mesquite Fire Department’s pancake breakfast, open house in record-breaking numbers

Mesquite Fire Department holds its 5th annual open house and pancake breakfast Saturday at Fire Station No. 3, Mesquite, Nev., Oct. 13, 2018 | Photos by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

MESQUITE, Nev. — At the close of Fire Prevention Week, firefighters with Mesquite Fire Station No. 3 worked the grill Saturday, cooking for more than 200 guests that flocked to the station for the department’s fifth annual pancake breakfast and open house.

The community event started at 8 a.m. PDT and this year’s breakfast brought in a record-breaking crowd, with attendance “about 70 percent higher than in previous years,” Mesquite Fire Captain Spencer Lewis told St. George News Sunday.

Group of firefighters cooking for Mesquite Fire Department’s 5th annual open house and pancake breakfast at Fire Station No. 3, Mesquite, Nev., Oct. 13, 2018 | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

“This has been our best year yet,” he said.

October is Fire Prevention Month, and Mesquite Fire typically schedules the breakfast for the second Saturday of the month, which also coincides with the final day of Fire Prevention Week.

Saturday morning, members of the community came together to enjoy a hot breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes, a meal that brought firefighters to the station at 7 a.m. to fire up the grill and to get everything set up.

Overall, Lewis said, the department’s firefighting chefs cooked approximately 600 pancakes, three large containers of eggs, more than 20 pounds of bacon and “a lot” of sausage.

The event also included a public tour of Mesquite’s fire station headquarters.

During the festivities, there were gift bags and fire hats for the younger guests, as clowns made their rounds entertaining the crowds with safety-themed activities.

The activities were designed to reinforce what the children learn during demonstrations made at their school, Lewis said, adding that throughout the year, members of the department’s Fire Prevention Group perform puppet shows and dress up in costume to make presentations at local schools to bring an entertaining, educational approach to the younger kids on what to do in case of a fire.

More than 200 people gather for Mesquite Fire Department’s 5th annual open house and pancake breakfast at Fire Station No. 3, Mesquite, Nev., Oct. 13, 2018 | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

Additionally, a stock of gift bags and toys are kept at each fire station to hand out to the children during the guided tours, items that also serve as learning tools.

The donations collected from the breakfast will be used to fund the Explorer Program, which benefits youth age 16-17 who are interested in emergency medical or firefighting services.

“The fun thing is that we educate the younger children, and then elementary school students up through those students enrolled in the Explorer Program,” he said, adding that fire safety messages are being taught throughout the year.

Pink T-shirts were also sold during the breakfast, with the proceeds going to benefit programs related to Beast Cancer Awareness Month, which is also in October, Lewis added.

Fire Station No. 3 was also the first scheduled stop for a Poker Run hosted by Bikers Against Child Abuse, as it has been for the past three years.

“They started it three years ago, and it’s a perfect stop because they get to eat breakfast which fuels the rest of their run, and now they schedule the run at the same time as our breakfast, which works out great,” Lewis said.

Bikers Against Child Abuse arrive at Mesquite Fire Department, the first stop on their Poker Run, to support the pancake breakfast and open house, Mesquite, Nev., Oct. 13, 2018 | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

Fire stations are a highly visible example of government’s investment in the overall safety and well-being of the people in the community, and Mesquite Fire Department’s open house and breakfast was another way to connect with the community and continue building relationships with the citizens they serve.

Mesquite Fire and Rescue has three stations, two of which are manned with rotating crews. The department has 27 full-time and 15 part-time firefighting personnel who serve more than 20,000 residents in an area that covers approximately 32 square miles.

The department also provides ambulance services 24 hours a day, including basic, intermediate and advanced life support services.

In 2017, the department responded to more than 2,800 emergency medical calls, a number that has steadily increased each year and accounts for more than 85 percent of the total number of calls dispatched to the fire department.

Mesquite Fire and Rescue also provides mutual aid support to unincorporated areas of Clark County, as well as areas within Arizona as needed.

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