The lights are off, the doors are locked and only a few cars are in the parking lot. Behind the closed garage doors, the fire trucks wait for the moment to shine their lights and blare their horns. Gear for the firemen wait to be hastily thrown on as they jump into the trucks. But, before all that, all is quiet. What you may not know is that behind those doors are local heroes. Guys and gals that are ready to jump at a moments notice and rush to the rescue. It's here that our youngest, Sebastian (2), found a few new best friends.

There were no signs on the door to detail any "office" hours and we were unsure if we were welcome at this time. But, the promise of seeing a real — and BIG — firetruck is what brought us here. Sebastian could not hold back his excitement as we got out of the car. I tugged on the front door to see if it was open, but it was locked. I walked back to my husband and Sebastian to let them know that the doors are locked and the firemen must be busy or resting. We didn't want to disturb them. But, a moment later, the doors opened and Bobby, of Fire Station #6 in Smyrna, quickly came to us. Little did we know that he was thrilled to have visitors.

Bobby wasted no time to open the garage doors and let our little guy check out the big trucks. As we walked around, other firemen joined us. Sebastian loved pointing at the lights and the wheels and telling us all about how loud the noise is in his own toddler language. Bobby continued to walk with Sebastian around the truck and opening hatches and doors for him to see what was inside. We tried to encourage Sebastian to sit on the seat, but he was a little too intimidated by the overall size of the truck.

Once we were at a good distance, the fireman, Michael, sounded the horn and turned on the lights for Sebastian. That made his day! Before we left, Bobby hands Sebastian a fireman hat and a coloring book filled with fire safety information and pages to fill with colorful scribbles.

Bobby tells us that they rarely get visitors, but they sure do love seeing the little ones getting so excited over a visit to their station. As do most stations. In fact, we encourage you to take a moment of your time to visit one. Thank them for their hard work and dedication. But, check with them first if you want a full station tour — those require advance notice. Otherwise, it doesn't hurt to just stop by and ask if it's a good time. Just be mindful of the fact that they are working and may need to leave at any moment.

Rutherford County Fire Departments

Almaville Volunteer Fire-Rescue
They have three stations. Call 615-355-0715 to learn more.

Murfreesboro Fire Department
There are 10 fire stations. The newest one on Medical Center Parkway has an exquisite antique fire truck in the front gallery and more to see! Full station tours are conducted at Headquarters located at 202 E. Vine St. Schedule a tour for your group by emailing mfrdprevents@murfreesborotn.gov

Smyrna Fire Department
There are six fire stations. To schedule a tour, call 615-459-9735, ext. 7502.

Rutherford County Fire & Rescue
There are three stations that make up this unit of volunteer firefighters. Call 615-867-4626 to inquire about tours/visits.

City of La Vergne Fire Rescue Department
There are three stations and one administration facility. Call 615-287-5832 to inquire about tours.