“We are pleased to announce the third round of gear recipients,” said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “These departments demonstrated a critical need for new sets of gear and will benefit greatly from the donation, both in terms of safety and morale. We commend Globe and DuPont for making this program possible.”
Throughout 2013, Globe and DuPont are providing up to 52 sets of gear to volunteer fire departments in need. The program is administered through the NVFC and open to NVFC members in the U.S. and Canada who are all-volunteer departments serving a population of 25,000 or less and who demonstrate a dire need for new gear that they cannot fulfill themselves. To date, nine departments have been awarded much-needed sets of new Globe turnout gear. Additional awards will be made in November and December.
Axtell Volunteer Fire and Rescue in rural Nebraska has 19 active members that respond to about 100 calls per year as well as deliver mutual aid to nearby communities. All of the department’s gear is over 20 years old and has been passed down to new fire department volunteers for many years. “Their condition is unsafe, as they are torn, frayed, missing reflective stripes, and ill-fitting. Thus, it creates a life safety risk for fire personnel due to the condition of the turnout gear,” explains Chief Jeff England of the situation. To make matters worse, department members are unable to attend needed hands-on training until the turnout gear is updated.
The agricultural community has been hit hard in recent years due to falling crop prices, drop in the cattle market, and severe drought. This has had a direct impact on the fire department’s budget, and the demands on the department continue to increase while the tax revenue and donations have fallen. “With the awarding of the Globe turnout gear program, we will be able to replace our turnout gear which will enable us to attend all needed training sessions as well as improve the life safety of our volunteers,” England said. “Without grant funds, we will not be able to pursue this project.”
The Jasper Volunteer Fire Department in Duffield, VA, has also been struggling due to the economy. Protecting a population of over 3,000, the 20 active firefighters have to make do with an inadequate number of gear, all of which are more than 10 years old. Despite the challenges, the department maintains an active fire prevention program, operates a junior firefighter program that puts youth on the path to success, and provides assistance to five surrounding departments when needed.
“We are a small department who has older gear and equipment,” said Deputy Chief Leonard Bowen. “We desperately need any kind of donation that can help us along.” Bowen hopes that by receiving the new sets of Globe gear, it will be a start towards getting sets for everyone in the department.
“We would be very grateful to have newer gear that we can trust and that is most importantly up to standard,” he said about the need for the Globe gear. “We are big on safety first and foremost, and with this gear at least on a few of our guys, not only would we be helping the community but also doing a great service by keeping our guys safer.”
The Lilbourn Volunteer Fire Department serves a population of 6,000 in New Madrid County, MO. The department’s small annual operating budget only covers the cost of fuel and repairs to equipment. The 14 firefighters cover their own community as well as assist with tanker support for surrounding communities. Any new equipment must be purchased either through donations or from the firefighters’ own pockets. The Globe gear donation will provide relief to members who have ill-fitting or non-compliant gear.
Stay tuned to the NVFC web site, Dispatch newsletter, and page on Facebook, as well as the Globe page on Facebook, for upcoming announcements on additional recipients of the Globe Gear Giveaway Program.