Jackson fire station gets new kitchen thanks to big donation from Lowe’s

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — When firefighters aren’t out fighting fires or saving lives, they’re back at the fire hall resting, doing chores, and cooking.

But the kitchen at Jackson’s fire station needs some updating, so a home improvement store is coming to the rescue.

6 News has the details on this big donation.

Monday afternoon, the heat was on inside the kitchen of the Jackson Fire Department’s Central Fire Station, as two rookie firefighters made lunch.

“The lowest senior firefighter is our cook. It’s just kind of the way the fire service works in Jackson,” said Assistant Fire Chief Chris Ermatinger.

Built along with the fire station in 1962, and last updated more than a decade ago, Ermatinger says the kitchen is starting to show its age.

He says it is full of faulty cabinets, worn-out counter-tops, and malfunctioning appliances.

The assistant fire chief says the department hasn’t been able to keep up with repairs, because extra money often goes to equipment and training.

“We really need new stuff,” Ermatinger said.

A firefighter’s relative, who happens to be an employee at Lowe’s in Jackson, noticed the kitchen was in critical condition.

“She brought it to this group and they thought it was a great idea,” Ermatinger said.

And now this week, the Lowe’s Heroes program is giving the fire hall a new kitchen.

Employees and local contractors will install new cabinets, counter tops, and appliances, along with providing a new drop ceiling, and giving kitchen walls a fresh coat of paint.

“It’s a great thing that they’re going to do,” Ermatinger said.

Jackson firefighters work 24 hour shifts, so having a functional kitchen to cook meals in is essential.

“They cook lunches and dinners every day. It’s their living quarters. It’s just like our house,” Ermatinger said.

The team at Lowe’s says they realize first responders have difficult jobs, so this donation is a simple way to support these local heroes.

“It’s definitely going to make their lives a little bit easier and hopefully allow them to be more comfortable protecting us, and helping us as a community. It gives us a feeling of community involvement that we really enjoy,” said Leland Maples, Sales Manager at Lowe’s in Jackson.

While crews from Lowe’s get ready to start work on the new kitchen, Jackson fire crews are thankful for this big show of support.

“This is very positive. Everyone is excited.  It was overdue.” Ermatinger said.

Work on the kitchen is expected to start Wednesday and finish up Friday.

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