Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to the health and safety of first responders. That’s why MSA Safety, DuPont Personal Protection, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are working together to provide volunteer fire departments with much-needed gear through MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway. In 2022, 13 departments will each receive four new sets of turnouts and four new helmets.
Awards were made to the following departments in July, August, and September:
- Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department (RFD) is an all-volunteer department located in northern New Jersey. The 33 volunteers serve a population of approximately 5,000 over 2.1 square miles and respond to an average of 200 calls annually. RFD’s service area contains portions of an interstate and major state highway as well as large stores and apartment and condominium complexes. They were last able to secure an Assistance to Firefighters Grant for new gear 10 years ago, but these sets of gear are now no longer NFPA-compliant. With much of their budget going towards other necessities, the department struggles to buy a set or two of new gear each year.
- Springhill Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD), located in rural Nova Scotia, is an all-volunteer department with 35 members. Serving a population of approximately 5,500 over 185 square miles, SVFD responds to an average of 154 calls annually. The dedicated firefighters of SVFD respond to chimney fires, structure fires, and wildland fires, among other emergencies, as well as conduct aggressive fire prevention campaigns. Unfortunately, over 80 percent of the department’s gear is more than 10 years old. Although the community does what it can to support the department, SVFD simply does not have the funding to acquire new gear for all its members.
- Delta Fire Department (DFD) is an all-volunteer department composed of 28 members located in rural Central Utah. Serving a population of approximately 6,000 over 5,600 square miles, DFD responds to an average of 130 calls annually in addition to providing automatic aid for seven surrounding smaller departments. DFD’s service area includes critical infrastructure such as schools, post offices, airports, a beryllium refining plant, a coal-powered power plant supplying power for much of Los Angeles County (CA), and other large industrial facilities. Despite this, most of DFD’s turnout gear is over 20 years old and no longer NFPA-compliant. With much of their budget going towards other necessities, they are unable to purchase new gear without making cuts elsewhere.
- Northport Fire and Rescue (NFR) is an all-volunteer department located in the rural northeastern corner of Washington state. Their 15 volunteers serve a population of approximately 295 over 100 square miles, responding to an average of 150 to 200 calls annually. In addition to their regular service area, NFR provides automatic aid to a neighboring fire district and mutual aid to two other fire districts for wildland and structural fires. The department also provides EMS over a 200-square-mile service area. Despite this heavy workload, all 15 of NFR’s volunteers are equipped with gear that is more than 10 years old and therefore no longer NFPA-compliant. Financial constraints mean that the department is unable to purchase new gear and other personal protective equipment for its members.
- Church Hill Volunteer Fire Company a 100 percent volunteer fire department located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The department serves a rapidly developing rural area of approximately 64 square miles with an estimated population of 4,800 residents. A large portion of the area is farmland, but some of that area is being developed with single-family homes. The department also responds to two major travel routes that have seen a steady increase in usage, which includes large trucks hauling hazardous materials such as explosives and radioactive waste. In addition, it provides automatic aid for fire, rescue, and emergency medical services with five neighboring fire departments and two adjacent counties. The department’s 55 volunteer firefighters respond to an average of 270 calls each year. Not all have assigned gear, and over half are using gear that is more than 10 years old. The department’s normal operating budget is not sufficient to equip all members with adequate PPE. These new sets will replace member gear that is non-compliant with current national standards.
- Marlboro Volunteer Fire Company serves a population of nearly 1,300 over 41 square miles in a rural community in Vermont. Its 15 volunteer firefighters respond to an average of 128 calls annually. In addition to house/structure fires, medical emergencies, and increasing brush fires, the department’s response area includes a critical state highway that connects the capitals and federal highway system of New York and New Hampshire and the eastern seaboard, as well as being the main route for tourists/skiers coming to the state. The department is also responsible for the safety of a school, historic buildings, tourism businesses, and the Marlboro Music Festival on a 530+ acre campus with more than 58 buildings. Over half of the department’s responders are using gear that is over 10 years old, and three members have no assigned turnout gear at all. Critical station improvements, apparatus maintenance, and communication system needs have added budget constraints and left the department unable to purchase new gear. Not being able to properly outfit its responders has held the department back from accepting new members.
For more than a century, MSA has been committed to providing workers all around the world with the equipment they need to help keep them safe. We’re proud to partner with the NVFC and DuPont to provide state-of-the-art turnout gear and helmets to departments in need.