The event, held from 2 to 4 p.m., was not a fundraiser “but, rather, a huge thank you to the mountain communities for their ongoing support,” according to a flyer inviting community members to the facility at the Mill Site.
Sandy Chaille of the Auxiliary said the organization hoped to make the open house an annual community event.
On Saturday afternoon, station tours and equipment demos were available and there were free hot dogs, chips and drinks for all.
New wildland Engine 611 was on display at the open house. The truck was purchased recently, with 50 percent of the funding coming from community donations and 50 percent with matching funds from Madera County.
Information also was available at the open house for those interested in becoming volunteers at the station and children in attendance were able to try on firefighting gear and take photos sitting behind the wheel of the engines.
There was also a bounce house and a limited supply of kids’ bicycle helmets given away at the open house. The helmets were donated by Valley Children’s Hospital.
The North Fork Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary works diligently through out the year to provide funds necessary to outfit Madera County Fire Department Station 11 firefighters with equipment not budgeted by the County or provided by Cal Fire.
Providing Station 11 staff with “whatever they need to do their job well” is the singular mission of the Auxiliary.