Each year, the Alexandria Fire Department hosts its annual open house as a way to kick off Fire Prevention Week.

This year’s open house, held Monday at the fire hall, took on added importance, considering that the department will be looking for new members in the not-too distant future.

A recruitment table was set up during the event, and Fire Chief Jeff Karrow said they are actively recruiting new volunteer firefighters, as the department could lose between eight to 10 firefighters within the next couple of years due to retirements.

It will also be hosting a recruitment open house on Tuesday, Oct. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m., for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter with the Alexandria Fire Department.

Fire Prevention Week runs from Oct. 6-12. The open house is a way to showcase the fire department and a way for the fire department to work with community partners, Karrow said. Those partners include the Alexandria Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, LifeLink III, Douglas County Emergency Management, JZ Fire Extinguisher Services, Civil Air Patrol, Douglas County Outreach Food Shelf, Horizon Public Health’s Safety Coalition and the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross will provide and install up to three smoke alarms at no charge to residents in the area. Those in need of smoke alarms can call 612-872-3250.

Clueless the Clown was also on-hand during the open house. Instead of making her usual balloon animals, Karrow said she was helping kids make red and black friendship bracelets that were dubbed fire prevention bracelets.