Empire FD to host music festival on Saturday

By LEA RIZZO, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 9/22/16

The Empire Volunteer Fire Department will be holding its first music festival this weekend.

Beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, the music festival will feature C.J. Harris with a surprise special guest. Tyler Croswell and Andrew Brand will also be …

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Empire FD to host music festival on Saturday

Posted

The Empire Volunteer Fire Department will be holding its first music festival this weekend.

Beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, the music festival will feature C.J. Harris with a surprise special guest. Tyler Croswell and Andrew Brand will also be performing.

In addition to music, the festival will feature bouncy houses for kids, door prizes and concessions, including hot dogs, chips and drinks.

The festival will be held — rain or shine — at Hollow Hills, which is located at 4796 Coon Creek Road in Empire.

Handicap parking as well as special parking for motorcycles will be available.

During the program, there will also be a tribute to fallen firefighters, military and police officers.

Wristbands will be sold at the entrance gate. The cost for these will be $5 for children ages 6 to 12, $10 for ages 13 and up and free for children 5 years old and under. Law enforcement officers will be admitted for free with their badge, and active military members will be admitted for free with their military identification.

Money raised during the festival will go towards purchasing much-needed equipment for the fire department.

“We are in desperate need of turnout gear and air packs for our firefighters. That’s something we’ve got to have,” said Effie Davenport, secretary for the Empire Fire Department.

Empire currently has 19 firefighters but only approximately six working air packs, which firefighters use when entering fires.

The department operates through fire dues. “We sent 600 [notices] out and we’ve collected [dues from] maybe 106 people,” Music festival chairperson Travis Alvis explained.

Davenport said it would “mean a lot to us” to have a big crowd at the festival.

“The more people that show up, the more it benefits the commuity,” said firefighter Chris Parvin. “[Money raised from the festival] will help us get the gear and stuff we need to be able to help people in the community.”

The Empire Fire Department is also bringing back its junior firefighters program.

They’re looking for kids ages 13 to 18 who are interested in learning about firefighting and safety. At age 18, they can transition into firefighters.

Davenport said, “We’re going to get out in the community and get the kids involved. The children that are growing up now, they’re our future firefighters, future police officers, future military. They’re the future.”

She added that the department’s assistant chief, Michael Davenport, started out in the junior program and worked his way up to his current position.

Currently, there are two kids in the program and, so far, they’ve been learning how to spray the hoses, roll up the hoses and operate the pumps, among other things.

The next junior firefighter meeting will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 3 to 4 p.m. at the hall next to the fire station and will cover aspects of fire safety.

On Oct. 26, the Empire Fire Department will partner with the Empire Church of God to hold a trick or treat safety class at the church.

For more information on the music festival, contact James Rhodes at 205-790-3912 or Travis Alvis at 205-948-3654. For more information on junior firefighter program, contact Effie Davenport at 205-937-8360.