By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon’s fire department is “back open” for station tours by school groups, child-care centers and local families.
“If anyone wants to set up a tour for kids, we like them to call up here to schedule a time,” Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt said. “But we’re also open to people just stopping by with their kids. We’ll show them the trucks as long as we’re not busy.”
Yukon has two fire stations – station one headquarters at 1000 E Main and station two at 302 S 5th.
Outside groups and individuals had not been able to tour Yukon fire stations for about a year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
A previous emergency proclamation had effectively limited access to City of Yukon buildings in efforts to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading.
The Yukon Fire Department had stopped allowing tours – for the safety of both the public and fire personnel.
As new case numbers declined and more residents were getting vaccinated, emergency COVID guidelines recently were lifted.
That means YFD facilities are again welcoming visitors for tours.
“The kids like to look in the cab of the fire trucks and take pictures,” Chief Vogt said. “If we have the time, we’ll pull a brush pumper out and let the kids spray some water.
“Our guys will talk to them about our different equipment and fire gear, and what trucks respond on what calls.”
Young visitors enjoy seeing the lights flash and sirens sound at the fire station.
MISSING THE INTERACTIONS
The COVID-19 situation had been challenging for Yukon firefighters, who missed interacting with the public.
They could not even have family members visit the fire station.
“Those were tough decisions to make, but the guys did a good job understanding and made those sacrifices,” Vogt said.
“Part of the job our guys really enjoy is whenever kids come in and want to look at the trucks. They like to show them around. It puts a smile on their face.”
Yukon’s fire chief commended those people who continue to be cautious amid the pandemic. Visitors to the fire station no longer must wear masks – but are welcome to.
While the YFD is responding to fewer COVID-related medical calls, the department’s overall call volume has increased in 2021.
“It seems like calls have been up every month from the same month last year,” Yukon’s fire chief said.
Yukon Fire responds to an average of 300 calls per month.
“We ran 340 calls this February,” Vogt reported. “In February of 2020, we ran 251.
“This March, we ran 297. In March 2020, we ran 253.”
Last month’s call log included 197 medical responses and five structure fires.
To schedule a Yukon fire station tour, call the YFD at (405) 354-2133.