MASON CITY, Iowa – Last year, the Mason City Fire Department began working to restore a monument of stones from the fire station that was closed in 1972.
Now that it’s complete, retirees, family and friends came out to see the honor park for the first time and reflect over the years.
“There’s been a lot of big fires, the one that sticks in my mind is the school house apartments. It was totally involved when I got there and we spent most of the night trying to get a hold of people to make sure and nobody perished in it, so it ended well,” says Fred Lehmann, Retiree.
Doug Janssen, the Interim Chief of the Mason City Fire Department, had the honor to present at the ceremony.
“The fire service itself is very, very strong in history and this is truly the history of our town and all of those that have served,” says Janssen.
And Captain Richard Paulson played a key role in laying the foundation.
“Well it’s nice to see each brick and know where everyone fit in that apartment, all of them that went from two battalions to three battalions when they started the hazmat,” says Paulson.
As for Doug, who will be retiring after 25 years of service, he says he is happy with the outcome of the project.
“It’s just kind of a final chapter for me, one thing that I did want to get completed before I retired even though it’s about 18 months away. It’s something that I wanted to get complete and see-through when we started.”
83 men had their service memorialized by a brick at the honor park.