Annual pancake feed fuels Waterloo water rescue team

A pancake breakfast helps fund the efforts of the Waterloo rescue team
Published: Apr. 23, 2023 at 11:58 AM CDT
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WATERLOO, Neb. (WOWT) - Pancakes on a Sunday morning are never a bad idea, especially if it supports a good cause.

For that reason, hundreds showed up at the Waterloo Fire and Rescue facility as early as 7 a.m.

In front of the building sits the trucks, engines and rescue boats that Waterloo uses daily. In the back, the medical helicopter lands on the grass. And inside the engine bays are tables filled with community members and more than 100 silent auction items.

“It’s excellent, it’s nice to see the community come out but also the surrounding community as well,” says Waterloo Fire Chief Travis Harlow.

The annual pancake feed and silent auction support Harlow’s department. More specifically, it funds the water rescue program.

“The donations that are brought in from today’s event for our water rescue program help us buy new equipment,” he says. “New gumby suits, wet suits, life jackets, throw ropes and also helps maintain our current boats.”

And with summer just around the corner, the water rescue team is far more valuable than people may realize.

“The Waterloo Fire Department is a little unique where it’s situated, we have several lakes and then the Elkhorn River that borders our fire district, so our water rescues in the summer, we have more water rescues than we do have fire alarms.”

Instead of being funded through tax dollars, the Waterloo water rescue team and program is fully funded by the pancake feed, as well as through funding from the Natural Resources District.

Harlow says they typically raise around $20,000 at the event, and his department couldn’t be more thankful to the extremely generous community.