LUSK – From the first step toward the fire hall the five senses were triggered. First was the sight of people coming in a steady stream for the appreciation barbecue, meeting and greeting old and new friends with the children squealing in joy at seeing their friends there.
Then the smell hits and triggers every memory of past barbecues. The firemen had a smooth running operation with at least two men at every station whether it was the burgers that were donated by Dockery Ranch, hot dogs or plates, napkins and buns. The wives were monitoring the cookie table and Mike Mayville was turning out homemade fries by the pound. Watching the people going through the lines there were several that simply wanted a plate full of the wonderful french fries.
Then the sound hits and between the laughter and music and the children chasing each other it was reminiscent of the old street dances Lusk used to have. Mayor Doug Lytle found himself in charge of the kids getting into and safely out of the fire truck with each child getting a chance to quickly blow the horn. Some were fast and some took their time letting off the horn. Asking one of the girls if she had a chance to blow the horn she stated yes, but it didn’t scare her like it did the boys.
The food was delicious and served up by almost the entire fire crew including some faces that were mostly unknown to quite a few of the public. The Fire Chief, Chantry Filener, informed me that the barbecue was their way of thanking everyone for the support shown to the crew at all times. When told it should be other way around, and that the town should be thanking them for agreeing to live the life of a volunteer firemanI always being on call no matter what was happening in their lives, Filener smiled.
Filener also explained how the process works to be on the team and he said it’s a short application. Individuals must have lived in the county for at least a year and live no further than two miles from town. Then there is an interview, a year probation and a vote of yes or no. An individual can be on the department for as long as they want and after ten years a state retirement plan becomes accessible
The drawing for the prizes was at the culmination of the barbecue with Pete Kruse winning the rifle and Curtiss Christianson winning the full cooler. The AR-15 rifle was purchased by Lusk Firemen and the cooler was donated by Rural Fire Department and filled with snacks from the Hansen and Zumbrunnen ranches.