This was the second year for the program. In 2012, Globe launched the Gear Giveaway Program as part of its 125th anniversary celebration. The program was a way to say thank you to the first responders who selflessly devote their time and risk their own safety to protect their communities. In all, 144 sets of gear were distributed to 16 volunteer fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. Due to the outpouring of interest in the program, Globe expanded the partnership with DuPont and the NVFC to continue giving away sets of gear in 2013, this time to NVFC members who demonstrated great need.
“Thanks to the support of Globe and DuPont, a total of 30 fire departments have received 195 sets of gear since the giveaway program began,” said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “The NVFC is proud to partner with Globe and DuPont to help these volunteer fire departments improve their safety and protect their members. This program has had a significant impact on departments that can’t afford to purchase necessary equipment for their firefighters.”
Volunteer departments are often dealing with inadequate budgets and limited resources. Firefighters have to make do with gear that is decades old, ill-fitting, overly worn, and that do not meet current safety standards. Globe teamed up with DuPont and the NVFC to help meet the gear needs of some of the country’s struggling departments. Through a competitive application process, the program targets all-volunteer departments serving a population of 25,000 or less in the U.S. and Canada that demonstrate a significant need for gear that they cannot meet on their own.
“Every day, thousands of volunteer firefighters place themselves in harm’s way in the performance of their fire and rescue duties,” said Rob Freese, Senior VP of Marketing at Globe Manufacturing Company. “We’re pleased and honored to be able to give back to some of the many volunteer fire departments with limited resources by improving the safety of their members with the most advanced turnout gear.”
The Globe Gear Giveaway Program has had a tremendous effect on the departments that receive gear. For instance, Axtell (NE) Volunteer Fire and Rescue was in dire need of gear. The agricultural community had been hit hard in recent years due to falling crop prices, drop in the cattle market, and severe drought. This had a direct impact on the fire department’s budget, and the demands on the department continued to increase while the tax revenue and donations fell. There was simply no money in the budget to replace the turnout gear, all of which were over 20 years old.
“Their condition is unsafe, as they are torn, frayed, missing reflective stripes, and ill-fitting,” explained Chief Jeff England of the gear situation. “Thus, it creates a life safety risk for fire personnel due to the condition of the turnout gear.” He also worried because department members were unable to attend needed hands-on training until the turnout gear was updated. The Globe Gear Giveaway Program was a game-changer for the department. “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.
For the Jasper Volunteer Fire Department in Duffield, VA, a great concern was that they didn’t have enough gear for their 20 active members. The gear they did have was all over 10 years old. “We would be very grateful to have newer gear that we can trust and that is most importantly up to standard,” Deputy Chief Leonard Bowen 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.”
One thing all of the departments shared was a great desire to improve the safety of the volunteers who risk their lives to protect their community. “As a Fire Chief, it is very hard to watch your people do a job well and not be properly dressed for the task at hand,” said Sam Bonovich, Chief of the Clear Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Boise, ID.
This sentiment was echoed by Chief Glenn Elmore of the Jackson Township (IN) Fire Department, which lost use of their fire station and a great deal of equipment in a 2008 flood. “Your support is essential to help make the community a safer place,” he said of the Globe Gear Giveaway Program. “To have firefighters train to fight fire but cannot go into a structure because their gear is too old is very sad.”
The following departments each received new gear as part of the 2013 Globe Gear Donation Program:
Axtell Volunteer Fire & Rescue (NE)
Clear Creek Volunteer Fire Department (ID)
East Dixfield Fire Department (ME)
East Glacier Park Volunteer Fire Department (MT)
Golden City Fire & Rescue (AR)
Green Valley Volunteer Fire Department (WV)
Happy Jack Fire Services (AZ)
Jackson Township Fire Department (IN)
Jasper Volunteer Fire Department (VA)
Jefferson Township Fire Department (OH)
Lilbourn Volunteer Fire Department (MO)
Monroe Hose Company (PA)
Mossville Volunteer Fire Department (MS)
Woodbury Heights Fire Department (NJ)
Thank you to everyone who applied for the 2013 Globe Gear Giveaway Program and to all firefighters and emergency personnel who dedicate themselves every day to protecting their communities. Stay tuned to the NVFC web site at www.nvfc.org for information on the 2014 Globe Gear Giveaway Program.