MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have awarded essential turnout gear to fire departments in Illinois and Ohio through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway. This annual program began in 2012 and provides much-needed gear to volunteer fire departments in the U.S. and Canada. In 2019, a total of 13 departments will each receive four new sets of state-of-the-art turnouts to help them increase the safety of their firefighters.
The first 500 applicants also received a complimentary membership to the NVFC, courtesy of MSA. The latest recipients of the turnout gear are the Witt (IL) Volunteer Fire Department and Canal Fulton (OH) Fire Department.
Witt (IL) Volunteer Fire Department
This gear will be well taken care of and serve these communities for years to come"
Witt Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) is comprised of 35 members and five explorers who respond to more than 225 calls per year over 142 miles of rural service area. The department serves 3,520 residents 24 hours a day on a volunteer basis. Volunteers have been relying primarily on gear that the department received 18 years ago, and it is showing signs of thermal breakdown and aging, which puts responders at risk.
With an annual budget of $24,000, WVFD’s budget ranks in the bottom two percent of the state. The local government is operating on a month-to-month basis, and it cannot be counted on for monetary assistance. “This gear will be well taken care of and serve these communities for years to come,” explains Captain Daniel Rogers.
Canal Fulton (OH) Fire Department
Canal Fulton Fire Department (CFFD) has struggled to equip its firefighters with NFPA-compliant turnout gear. The department is currently comprised of 49 active firefighters; of these, 22 are borrowing coats, 22 are borrowing turnout pants, 26 are borrowing a pair of boots, and 25 are borrowing helmets from neighboring departments.
As a volunteer department, CFFD has found it difficult to find the funding to purchase adequate turnout gear. This impacts the safety of their members as well as creates issues during the recruitment process. “The four sets of Globe turnout gear will have the most significant impact on those who have recently graduated from our Explorer program,” says Captain Shawn Yerian. “They will directly benefit by receiving NFPA-compliant personal protective equipment from MSA.”
Additional MSA Globe Gear Giveaway awards will be made monthly throughout 2019.