The final three recipients have been announced in the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), MSA Security Incorporated and DuPont’s 2020 Globe Gear Giveaway. The White River (ON, Canada) Fire Department, New Baltimore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company (Warrenton, VA), and the Central Hardin Fire Department (Elizabethtown, KY) will each receive four sets of state-of-the-art turnout gear and four helmets to increase the safety of their members.
MSA Safety Incorporated, DuPont, and NVFC team up each year to help volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear. With this latest round of awards, 121 departments in need have received a total of 559 sets of turnout gear since 2012 to better equip their members for response. The first 500 applicants in this year’s giveaway also received a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA.
White River Fire Department (WRFD)
The White River Fire Department (WRFD) protects approximately 37 square miles of rural central Ontario in addition to providing vehicle rescue services to 118 miles of the Trans-Canada Highway, the main east-west route across Canada. Serving around 1,000 residents in their municipality and a neighboring First Nations community, WRFD’s 24 volunteers respond to an average of 30 calls annually.
The town of White River has seen its fair share of difficulties over the past few decades. A mill that served as the main employer closed 15 years ago, forcing some longstanding volunteers to move to find work. Although the mill has since reopened, White River Fire Department now faces the challenge of recruiting and training new members.
Replacing outdated Turnout gear
Due to financial constraints, the White River Fire Department is unable to purchase new gear
Due to financial constraints, the White River Fire Department is unable to purchase new gear, and all of their helmets along with 22 sets of turnout gear are over 10 years old. Their fire hall and apparatus are also aging, additional challenges White River Fire Department will have to contend with in the coming years.
“Despite the downturn, we have a small but dedicated group of individuals that love to work hard and make the best of what we have. We are all very proud of what we can do without the newer equipment, but we’re all anxious for some improvements,” said White River Fire Department (WRFD) Training Officer, William Moore.
New Baltimore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company
New Baltimore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, also known as Company 10, is a 35-member volunteer department in Fauquier County, Virginia. They serve a primary response area of 31 square miles, averaging over 1,000 calls per year. In addition, Company 10 responds to county-wide fire and medical emergencies as well as provides mutual aid to neighboring Prince William County when needed.
As one of the busiest stations in Fauquier County, Company 10 is working towards providing two sets of gear for all of their members so that each set can be cleaned per NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) requirements without leaving responders unprotected. However, their budget is limited with an annual allotment from the county going towards all administrative and operational costs, including equipment procurement.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the department also expects a lower than usual volume of community donations. The donation of new turnout gear and helmets will go a long way in helping Company 10 with its goal to sufficiently equip and protect its volunteers.
Central Hardin Fire Department
CHFD relies on voluntary subscriptions from the community they serve for income, so funding is not guaranteed
The Central Hardin Fire Department (CHFD) serves a population of approximately 10,000 over 78 square miles of north-central Kentucky. Responding to an average of 460 calls annually, this number has been increasing every year, as have the number of volunteers, even as funding levels have not kept up.
The CHFD relies on voluntary subscriptions from the community they serve for income, so funding is not guaranteed. Although they receive some funding through the state and county, it is not enough to cover all costs.
Ensuring safety to life and property
Due to these financial constraints, the Central Hardin Fire Department is unable to purchase new turnout gear to replace the sets that are no longer NFPA compliant as well as equip their newest members. This limits the department’s ability to protect life and property and puts the safety of members at risk.
“Our department is constantly growing in size, but our income is not. Receiving this gear will have a great impact on how we can better serve our community and keep the citizens and each firefighter safe,” said Central Hardin Fire Department firefighter Amanda Medley.