MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are helping volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear through MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway.
In its tenth year, the program has provided over $1 million worth of gear to assist volunteer fire departments in need. In 2021, 13 departments will each receive four sets of turnout gear and four helmets to help enhance the safety of their firefighters. The first 500 applicants also received a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA.
The latest two recipients of MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway are the Grant County Fire District 7 (Soap Lake, WA) and Viola Volunteer Fire Department (Hickory, KY).
Grant County Fire District 7
GCFD’s dedicated volunteers focus on the needs of their community as a whole
Located in the small town of Soap Lake in rural central Washington state, the Grant County Fire District 7 (GCFD) is an all-volunteer department composed of 18 members. GCFD’s service area is approximately 158 square miles, and the population they serve fluctuates from 4,000 to 10,000 during the peak summer months, which also happens to be fire season.
GCFD’s dedicated volunteers focus on the needs of their community as a whole. However, recent retirements have left them short-staffed. Several of their newer members are female, but the department’s existing gear is too large and poses a safety risk to these firefighters.
In addition, all the department’s 26 sets of turnout gear are more than 10 years old and therefore out of compliance with NFPA safety standards. The fundraising events that the department relied on in the past for financial support have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite these challenges, GCFD continues to press forward and serve its community to the best of its ability. “Our motto is We Serve To Save. We do and we will. [With this donation] of bunker gear and helmets, we will be able to make sure our firefighters, new and seasoned, can confidently don their bunker gear and push through and be successful when working an active fire,” said GCFD firefighter/EMT Jane Chambers.
VVFD has 14 sets of gear; however, many are over 10 years old and therefore out of compliance with NFPA
Viola Volunteer Fire Department
The Viola Volunteer Fire Department (VVFD) is a small, all-volunteer department composed of 14 members in rural western Kentucky. VVFD’s volunteers protect a population of 500-700 over a 10-square-mile service area, responding to an average of 72 calls annually.
VVFD has 14 sets of gear; however, many are over 10 years old and therefore out of compliance with NFPA safety standards. While the department has been able to purchase a few sets of new gear over the last few years, their limited budget makes it difficult to obtain all the sets they need. Fundraising events they’ve tried typically result in the department just breaking even financially.
This donation of new Globe gear and helmets from MSA will greatly help VVFD in its efforts to replace its older gear and ensure the safety of its members. The final three award winners will be announced in December.