Sigma Pi Hosts 15th Annual 'Firefighter Day'
Brothers of Sigma Pi Fraternity hosted the 15th annual “Firefighter Day” on Saturday, April 2, in spite of the rainy weather conditions. More than 150 students and members of the community attended the event that afternoon to express their gratitude to the firefighters at Station 7.
“It feels awesome to give back to the firefighters and just to give them a chance to break from their routines,” senior Tommey Kiesner said. “Every year this is one of the more anticipated events that the fraternity holds. It’s a good time and something for the whole community to look forward to.”
Founding brother and Sigma Pi alumnus Steven Yeats began this tradition 15 years ago to involve the community in thanking these men and women for their bravery and for helping keep Norfolk and the ODU community safe.
In addition, Sigma Pi donates different items every year to the station. Donations have ranged anywhere from basketball hoops to monetary donations, but the firefighters are always appreciative and enjoy the event each year.
The brothers of Sigma Pi generously roasted a 125-pound pig throughout the night before and provided other food to those who came to hang out and eat. All of the garage doors to the station were open and tables were set up so the crowd could eat and mingle. The music and atmosphere made the event pleasant despite the dismal weather that persisted through the afternoon.
Outdoor activities were limited due to weather, but there were still some lighthearted jousting matches in the inflatable ring set up outside. Inside the station were different firefighter and relay games children and adults from the community participated in, including an obstacle course while wearing all the heavy firefighter gear and attire.
Guests were taken on a tour of the station, which has a weight room, lounge and full-size kitchen. In the large outdoor space, three fire engines and an ambulance were on display to anyone curious about the equipment and vehicles.
Most importantly, attendees had the chance to get to know the firefighters from their local fire department in a casual environment, understand more of what they do for the community. Additionally, the firefighters were able to become more familiar with and be thanked more directly by the people they serve everyday.
“We all took a lot of pictures with the firefighters and Lucy, our fraternity dog,” sophomore and Sigma Pi brother Mark Abbott said. “That was when we really started talking together. I got to know the fire chief too, which was really cool.”
“Firefighter Day” is about making connections and expressing gratitude to those brave individuals who risk their lives to benefit the community. Thanks to the members of Sigma Pi, this event successfully demonstrated the ODU community’s support and appreciation for our firefighters in the most enjoyable and direct way possible.