LONG LAKE - This year marks the 75th year that the Long Lake Volunteer Fire Department has been serving its local community.
Shawn Wright has been leading the department as chief for 10 years and is excited about what the department has accomplished over the past 75 years.
"We have come a long way," he said.
The department has seen the community lose a lot, he said, referring to the Blarney Stone Restaurant that was destroyed by fire last Memorial Day, but they have been fortunate enough to save a lot as well, he acknowledged.
A 75th anniversary celebration has been planned for the weekend of July 23. A waterball tournament will highlight the event, which will culminate with fireworks.
The fire department joins with the local rescue squad under the leadership of captain Donald Howe to fulfill one goal - the safety of the community. The fire department alone receives roughly 40-45 calls per year.
Not only is safety one of the squads' main priorities, but they also seek to be an example of the importance of volunteering.
"It is a positive thing for the younger generation to see that being a volunteer is still important," said Wright.
The Long Lake Fire Department has one of the most successful local junior programs. Currently, five of their 30 total members are juniors.
"We can't forget to teach these young people what it means to be a volunteer and to do something for the good of other people," said Wright.
The department makes sure to donate to local scholarships and to encourage its members to take part in local community service activities.
If interested in joining the Long Lake fire or rescue squads, contact their chief or captain directly.