In a recent gathering at the Freeborn County Law Enforcement Center, the Albert Lea Western Star Masonic Lodge No. 26 made a significant contribution to local safety efforts by donating 10 innovative fire suppression kits to the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office.

This small but meaningful ceremony saw the participation of lodge members and law enforcement officials, highlighting a community-focused initiative aimed at enhancing emergency response capabilities.

The fire suppression kits, explained by Gregory Vokovan, Junior Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, are compact aerosol devices designed for use in enclosed spaces to help suppress fires and reduce temperatures. Their primary goal is to mitigate fire and water damage in buildings and homes, thereby increasing the safety of occupants until firefighters arrive.

Sheriff Ryan Shea emphasized the value of these kits, noting that law enforcement officers are often first on the scene of a fire. The kits’ compact size allows them to be conveniently stored in squad car trunks, ready for use when needed.

Jon Asplund, the lodge’s master, officially presented the kits, underscoring the Masonic Lodge’s commitment to community safety. Mark Harig, the lodge treasurer, expressed pride in the ability of these devices to save lives and contribute to a safer community.

Sheriff Shea shared his hope that the need to use these devices never arises but appreciated the added capability they provide to deputies in fire situations. He also expressed curiosity about the potential impact these kits could have on local fire response strategies.

The Western Star Lodge No. 26, with a history of over 165 years of service in Minnesota, continues its tradition of community support through donations to various local causes, including the Salvation Army, the Ecumenical Food Shelf, and the Albert Lea Inclusive Playground. This donation to the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office builds on a history of collaboration, including previous contributions to the county’s Child Safety and Drug Prevention Education program.

This initiative not only enhances the emergency response toolkit of the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office but also strengthens the bond between the Masonic Lodge and the community it serves, demonstrating a shared commitment to safety and well-being.

For more details, Albert Lea Tribune