WM Fire Department hosts annual waffle sale

WEST MILTON- Members of the West Milton Volunteer Fire Department continued a local tradition of over 60 years on Friday, Aug. 19, hosting their annual Fireman’s Waffle Sale to help fund the purchase of firefighting equipment.

“We’ve been doing this since the mid 50’s,” assistant chief Nathan Dewey said. “It’s definitely a long tradition.”

The sale is ongoing, and the department will also be setting up to fry waffles again from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, and Friday, Sept. 9. Firefighters fry and sell the waffles at the West Milton Fire Station, 701 S. Miami St.; more information can be found online at www.westmiltonohio.gov or www.facebook.com/WestMiltonFireCompany.

“We fry usually every Friday from the Fourth of July,” Dewey said. “We skip Labor Day Weekend; the last fry will be Friday, Sept. 9.”

Waffles are $4 for a bag of four, and the West Milton Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary also sells cotton candy for $3 per bag. The department usually produces approximately 1,500-1,700 waffles each Friday night during the sale, and has also filled single orders as large as 200 waffles for a customer.

“There are people who have come from out-of-state to get these,” Dewey said. “As soon as our doors open, somebody’s usually there. We’ve shipped them with the USO; they go out, and it’s kind of like a taste of home for people from West Milton.”

The waffles are cooked in a special, custom-built machine that can produce up to 24 waffles at one time. “We have two waffle machines,” Dewey said. “Those machines were custom made; built by fire fighters, probably 10 years ago.”

Proceeds from the waffle sale will be used to help pay for firefighting equipment and protective gear. “A lot of it goes to equipment for us,” Dewey said.

“Our waffle money basically helps pay for gloves and other things that we’re going to use when we’re going to a fire, but more personal items; hoods, gloves, boots and things like that.”

Originally formed in 1889, the West Milton Fire Department now has 35 members, and recently hosted the Central Western Fireman’s’ Association Conference.

“We’re still all volunteer,” Dewey said.

The department is also currently in need of additional volunteers.

“Volunteer fire departments across the nation are running pretty slim,” Dewey said. “Getting people to do this, and do it for free; people are busy these days.”

“It’s a dangerous job,” he said, “but it’s fun.”