It's the last fire engine Firefighter Dennis Rodeman worked.
Now, it's a tribute and a memorial to him.
"They wanted to put something on the rig to just say thank you," Captain Eric Weber of the Lansing Fire Department said. "But also to remind the community that we're still mourning, that we're still honoring and memorializing Dennis." Weber and his family drove the rig through the parade.
He says it took a lot of hands and a few hours to deck the engine out in lights. "Dennis would have been proud," he said. "There was a lot of laughter, a lot of teasing. It was a pleasure being with the crew, with a lot of hands on it, a lot of people doing it. It would have been Dennis."
The float was also a way to thank the community for its support of the fire department and Rodeman's family, LFD Emergency Management Chief Michael Tobin said. "We're not looking for sorrow or tears or anything like that," Tobin said. "The community by far has not forgotten what happened and we have not forgotten." He added he hoped people would look at the float with a sense of pride in their community.
Tobin says Silver Bells is all about people coming together, so giving Rodeman a place in the parade is a fitting tribute. "Dennis, not only as a firefighter, but just a human being in general gave to everyone," Tobin said. "Dennis did not put himself first. He put his family and his community first."
"We just want to thank Lansing for supporting us and thinking of us in our loss of Dennis and as we enter the holidays - love your family, hold them tight, enjoy the season," Weber said.