“We are very pleased to announce the first three winners of the 2014 Globe Gear Giveaway,” said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “We received over 500 applications for gear, demonstrating the real need that exists for this type of program. Many departments are struggling to provide gear to their members and often have to make do with gear that is old, non-compliant, ill-fitting, and otherwise inadequate, putting the safety of the firefighters at risk. Thank you to Globe and DuPont for recognizing this need and supporting our nation’s volunteer fire departments through this remarkable donation initiative.”
To be eligible to apply for the four sets of new Globe gear, departments had to be all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer, serve a population of 25,000 or less, be legally organized in the U.S. or Canada, demonstrate a need for the gear, and be a member of the NVFC. To help departments meet this last requirement, Globe sponsored NVFC Department Memberships for the first 200 non-members to apply.
The Highlands (NJ) Fire Department is comprised of 50 volunteer firefighters who respond to an average of 170 calls per year. When Hurricane Sandy hit on October 29, 2012, the department was inundated by about 15” of water due to the storm surge. The small town of Highlands was under 8-10 feet of water, and the firefighters rescued over 90 people that were stranded in their flooded houses. In the days following the storm, the firefighters supplied food, water, cleaning materials, life safety for power restoration, and set-up of a temporary borough hall, police station, and first aid squad, putting their own flooded houses on hold until the needs of the community were met.
Despite their best efforts to secure equipment and supplies before Sandy hit, the Highlands Fire Department still lost crucial equipment in the storm. The unexpected costs created by Sandy has left the department struggling to fulfill their normal operating expenses, including replacing outdated gear. The donation of the four sets of new Globe gear will enable the department to keep more firefighters in compliant gear while they focus their limited funds on other expenses created by Sandy.
The Nicasio (CA) Fire Department is an all-volunteer organization with 15 active firefighters serving a population of 1,200. Half of the 10 sets of gear the department has available are over 10 years old. Relying entirely on grants and donations, the department is unable to provide all of its members with the gear they need to be safe. The firefighters respond to all emergencies in their rural, wooded area, as well as provide defensible space and fire prevention consultations and materials for local residents. The four sets of new Globe gear will help the department better outfit their volunteers so they can be safer when protecting their community.
The Osler Fire Department in Saskatchewan, Canada, is an all-volunteer department serving a population of 1,500. The department is currently operating out of the town shop as it works to build its first fire hall. With fundraising over the past 10 years focusing on the fire hall, the gear and equipment has started to suffer. Much of the gear is mismatched and ill-fitting, and over half of it is more than 10 years old. Despite these limitations, the department provides vital protection to the community in addition to serving as part of a mutual aid agreement with four other volunteer departments. It also maintains a robust fire prevention education and community outreach program, and participates in community charity projects. The four new sets of gear will make a big difference in helping the department provide proper protection for those who serve.
Additional awards through the Globe Gear Giveaway Program will be made monthly throughout 2014. A total of 52 sets of gear will be distributed to departments in need. Stay tuned to the NVFC web site, Dispatch newsletter, and page on Facebook, as well as the Globe page on Facebook, for additional information and announcements regarding the Globe Gear Giveaway Program.