CRIDERSVILLE — It’s being promoted as a “big festival in a small town.” The Cridersville Fireman’s Jamboree got underway Friday with dozens of classic cars filling Main Street through the village.
It’s a kind of event that brings people back to Cridersville to enjoy good family fun and the chance to reunite with friends.
It’s a close-knit community that supports its firefighters and police officers.
In 2016, the firefighters organized their first ever Blessing of the Badges, a ceremony designed to honor all first responders.
“We started it two years ago to bring the fellowship together between police, fire, dispatchers and EMS personnel. We’re all working in the same community. We all share the same triumphs and failures so it’s just something to bring that family a little bit closer, tighter, and to let them know that people do care,” said Rick Miller, Cridersville fire chief.
The Blessing of the Badges will be held right after the parade today at around 2:30 p.m. in front of the fire station.
“It’s nice that they think about all of us and the safety services. It really makes you feel appreciated when they do that for us. Law enforcement is kind of the bad guy. We get a bad rap sometimes and everybody loves a fireman and usually, when they meet the police it’s on their worst day and we try to make things right and keep them safe, so it’s nice that they appreciate what we do as well,” said John Drake, Cridersville police chief.
The Cridersville Fireman’s Jamboree is an annual fundraiser to help buy equipment and provide money for training that isn’t included in their general fund budget.
“When my predecessors started 54 years ago, that was the key in mind, for us to have that extra money to go buy another piece of hose if we needed it, to go buy another ladder if we needed it, buy a truck. Can’t do that in this day and age because of the prices. Back in the day, that’s what it was for,” said Miller.
The 10-year rule on firefighting equipment is something that is always in the backs of their minds.
“After ten years we have to throw gear away. It cannot be used for firefighting measures and with air packs, it’s 15 years. You can recertify them, but everything costs and the prices keep going up,” he said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.