Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

IPSD works to make birthdays special during pandemic


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Ironwood - As lives and day-to-day routines continue to be disrupted while people practice physical distancing and follow the stay-at-home orders in a fight to end the coronavirus pandemic, the Ironwood Public Safety Department is doing what it can to help kids in the city.

The department is one of several local agencies offering to use drive by local birthday parties with department vehicles.

"Things aren't normal now and kids aren't able to have birthday parties, so it's just something nice to do for the youth in our community to support them on their birthdays," IPSD Director Andrew DiGiorgio said.

DiGiorgio asked families to contact the department two days in advance to organize the event, but said the department would try to accommodate requests made with less notice.

"Our Public Safety Department would love to slowly drive by your home on your child's birthday and display our fire truck with flashing lights, sirens, and of course, a wave from their local Public Safety Officers and firefighters," a post on the IPSD Facebook page describing the service reads. "Unfortunately, we are unable to stop and interact at this time with your child. We ask that children remain inside or supervised within their yard and not approach the fire truck."

He asked families to record video of the interaction to be shared on the IPSD's Facebook page.

Given the nature of the Public Safety Department, DiGiorgio said the department can't always promise the vehicles won't be needed at an emergency but said the department was going to make every effort to follow through with planned visits.

DiGiorgio said other departments, such as the Gogebic County Sheriff's Department and the Michigan State Police, are also invited to participate.

He said the visits have proved popular so far, and the department intends to do as many as they can.

"We enjoy it, they enjoy it; so it's a good deal," DiGiorgio said.

The IPSD isn't the only department on the Gogebic Range offering drive-bys, with the Ironwood Township Board of Trustees recently authorizing the township's volunteer fire department to perform the service and the Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department posting on its Facebook page that it was also performing drive-bys.

People interested in scheduling one with the IPSD can call the office 906-932-1234 and press zero to schedule it with the secretary or visit the ISPD Facebook page for more information.

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