Don Stark

Osceola Fire Chief Don Stark and his date, Julie Woltz, share a laugh with other dancers at the 2018 Osceola Firefighters Ball. 

 

A stronger fire department directly impacts the population it serves, from rescuers’ ability to help people in danger to reducing the cost of residential insurance premiums.

For the sixth year, the Friends of the Osceola Fire Department and Osceola Lions Club will host a Firefighters Ball to benefit the department, defraying costs for area taxpayers.

“Any money we raise from the dance is used to help purchase items the fire department needs,” explained Fire Chief Don Stark. “We try to show things we’ve purchased in the past, or things we’d like to get that would help the department.”

A display at the event demonstrates the cost of outfitting a fireman. 

“Those costs just keep going up,” Stark explained. 

On the other hand, improved service capabilities caused in part by moving to the new fire station could mean lower insurance premiums for area residents.

“We got our insurance ISO [insurance service office] rating down to a 4 for Osceola and a 4A for Farmington Township,” said Stark, “which in the long run lowers everyone’s insurance premiums.”

This year, the department will also show images of its new truck, set to arrive later this year.

The dance, Stark reported, has been a success every year. This year’s event will have music from Big Bob and the High Rollers, a fast-paced band that performs a mix of popular and classic rock tunes.

“I hope the people who show up have a good time, dance to the band, win some raffles and we all raise money for a good cause,” he said.

Another goal of the event: showing appreciation for the area’s volunteer firefighters. 

“In today’s world it’s hard to find volunteer firefighters, people willing and able to come to a call when we need them,” Stark said. “During the day we rely on mutual aid to help us. 

“But the biggest thing is just to get people to come and enjoy themselves. That’s what we all hope for.”

Osceola Firefighters Ball

When: Saturday, Feb. 9, 7:30 to 11:59 p.m.

Where: Custom Fire Hangar at L.O. Simenstad Airport (509 68th Avenue, Osceola)

Details: Tickets are a requested donation of $15 per person. They are available from Osceola Firefighters, at PY’s Bar & Grill, and available at the door.

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