The final recipients have been announced in MSA’s and DuPont’s 2020 Globe Gear Giveaway. MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) team up each year to help volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear. With this final 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.
In November and December, awards were made to the following departments:
- Douglas City Volunteer Fire Department (DCVFD) protects 25 square miles of rural northern California, serving around 1,000 residents and responding to an average of 165 calls annually. Despite their small size, DCVFD plays a vital role in their community, especially during wildfire season. Additionally, DCVFD responds to a high number of medical calls, vehicle crashes, and high- and low-angle rescues, and are often the first and sometimes only resource available. They also provide mutual aid to neighboring departments who likewise have limited resources. DCVFD’s seven active firefighters share five sets of turnout gear, three of which are more than 10 years old. Because they are funded entirely by donations from their community, they are unable to replace their aging gear or purchase additional needed PPE such as helmets. Additionally, the lack of PPE makes recruiting new volunteers a challenge, and probationary members are issued well-used turnout gear that is often ill-fitting and compromised by age and use.
- Cooper Landing Emergency Services (CLES) protects a 70-square-mile expanse of Alaska’s rural Kenai Peninsula. The community’s population swells from 350 to nearly 1,000 during the summer months due to tourism and seasonal residents. CLES responds to an average of 120 calls annually, including on two of the busiest roads in the state, as well as provides mutual aid to neighboring departments. All of CLES’ turnout gear are over 10 years old and were donated by other departments. Because they rely solely on fundraisers, donations, grants, and ambulance patient billings, their budget is limited. CLES recently had to purchase new apparatus, meaning that their ability to afford new gear is significantly diminished.
- 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, WRFD now faces the challenge of recruiting and training new members. Due to financial constraints, the 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 WRFD will have to contend with in the coming years.
- New Baltimore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, also known as Company 10, is a 35-member volunteer department in Warrenton, Fauquier County, VA. 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 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) in Elizabethtown 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 department 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. Due to these financial constraints, CHFD 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.
Visit the National Volunteer Fire Council site to learn more.
These awards conclude the 2020 Globe Gear Giveaway. The 2021 application period will be announced in February.