File Photo Firefighters cooking up pancakes at the 2016 Pancake Breakfast.

Snoqualmie Fire Department brings a big breakfast to Railroad Days weekend

Along with the Railroad Days festivities on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 19, the Snoqualmie Fire Department will be hosting their annual pancake breakfast fundraiser at the fire station.

The breakfast raises funds for additional equipment for the staff and volunteer firefighters and also donates some of the funds to local charities and services such as the area’s food banks.

Peter O’Donnell, a volunteer firefighter for Snoqualmie, said the event is held every year on the third Saturday of August. Beginning at 7 a.m., firefighters will be cooking up pancake breakfasts for attendees, and also serving coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts.

“It involves career staff and volunteers,” he said. “We go out to all the businesses in the Valley, everyone in Snoqualmie, Fall City and North Bend, We get donations from them to help with the cost for the breakfast. The Snoqualmie Ridge IGA donates a lot of the food, we get coffee from Starbucks there are always Krispy Kreme donuts, they are donated from Issaquah.”

Along with the breakfast, the firefighters gives tours of the fire station and let children look inside the fire engines and other station equipment.

O’Donnell said one of the big things the breakfast helps fund is the maintenance of the original Snoqualmie fire engine, which they drive during community parades. The funding also helps out with equipment purchases community donations, and to buy jackets and backpacks for children from lower income families who need school supplies or cold weather gear.

“We also have a silent auction, we get a lot of donations from different businesses, everything from golf, overnight stays at the Salish, gift baskets from local businesses,” he said.

One of the goals of each breakfast is to make the event as “green” as possible, he said. All of the plates and utensils used are recyclable and biodegradable. The firefighters keep track of how much is recyclable and how much is garbage and try to keep the build-up of trash as low as possible.

“The vast majority of it was compostable or recyclable, it’s a very minimal percentage that is actual plain garbage that is thrown away,” O’Donnell said. “It’s a very green event. We worked with Waste Management last year, they brought out recyclable containers to use.”

O’Donnell said the fire department is excited for the breakfast as it is not only a large community event, but one of the few times all of the staff and volunteers get together.

“We don’t get a lot of opportunity for everyone to be in the same place at the same time because everyone is on a different shift… usually the separate shifts don’t get to work together all that often,” he said.

“It’s really fun to get to hang out and work hard with everyone all day.”

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From left: Captain Nick Almquist, Gini Ekoes, Heather Payne, and Chief Perry Phipps. Courtesy photo.
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