Fire Chief

Kalona Fire Chief Steve Yotty (right) shows a group of first graders from Mid-Prairie East Elementary School where firefighters store their gear at the Kalona Fire Station Monday.

With this week being National Fire Prevention Week, the Kalona Fire Station has been a busy place.

Fire Chief Steve Yotty has been spending his time giving tours of the station and presentations to students from Mid-Prairie East Elementary School.

“It’s a really busy week,” Yotty said following one tour by a pair of first-grade classes Monday morning. “I’ve got quite a few classes coming through here.”

Students gathered in the training room to hear Yotty give a fire safety presentation.

He spoke to the children about the importance of checking smoke alarms, not playing with lighters or matches and having a meeting spot outside of their homes if they have to escape because of a fire.

He also asked the students if they knew what to do if their clothes caught on fire.

“Stop, drop and roll,” several students enthusiastically exclaimed.

Lt. Larry Hershberger dressed up in full fire gear so the students could see what a firefighter would look like when responding to a fire.

“They look scary,” Yotty said. “But the firefighters are your friends.”

Following a short fire safety video, the students toured the fire station and climbed through a pumper truck.

Afterwards, they returned to the training room to ask any questions they might have.

Questions included “When was the fire station built?” (1974);  and“How many people do you have here?” (29 firefighters, right now).

James Jennings, News Editor at The News, can be reached at

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