MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) team up to help volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear through MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway. In 2021, another 13 departments each received four new sets of turnout gear and four new helmets to help enhance the safety of their firefighters. The first 500 applicants also received a one-year NVFC Membership, courtesy of MSA.
Awards were made to the following departments in October, November, and December:
- Tunas Volunteer Fire Department (TVFD) is an all-volunteer department located in rural central Missouri. Protecting approximately 1,600 people over an area of 70 square miles, TVFD responds to an average of 80 calls annually. The department handles all fire and medical emergencies in their response area, as well as provides mutual aid to surrounding departments. TVFD is funded solely by membership dues paid by area landowners and receives no local or state government support. Most of their equipment and apparatus were donated by other departments, and as a result, TVFD’s 15 sets of turnout gear are all between 10 and 20 years old. The department is unable to purchase new gear on their own, as much of the funding they receive goes to covering insurance premiums and other operating expenses. Many of the volunteers have even had to acquire their own gloves, hoods, and other items the department is unable to provide.
- Selden Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD), located in a rural area southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, is an all-volunteer department composed of 20 members. SVFD’s response area covers approximately 200 square miles and on average, they respond to between 100 and 150 calls annually. SVFD receives a small stipend from the local government to cover apparatus maintenance and fuel costs. All other expenses must be covered by fundraising efforts and grants. As a result, all their turnout gear is older, mismatched, and out of compliance with NFPA 1851. With new members joining the department, this has created a shortage of gear, exacerbating an already difficult situation. It has also prevented SVFD from responding to emergencies at full strength, which can create severe safety issues when on scene of an incident.
- Grant County Fire District 7 (GCFD) is an all-volunteer department composed of 18 members. Located in the small town of Soap Lake in rural central Washington state, 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 are too large and pose 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 cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 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 their efforts to replace its older gear and ensure the safety of their members
- Daggett Volunteer Fire Department (DVFD) is an all-volunteer fire department located in southern California’s rural Mojave Desert. DVFD’s 30 volunteers serve a population of approximately 300 over 50 square miles, responding to an average of 250 calls annually. Due to the number of vacant structures in their service area as well as a well-traveled, cross-country highway, the majority of their calls are fires and traffic collisions. DVFD has only 20 sets of turnout gear, meaning that members are often forced to share. Furthermore, only three of the sets are less than 10 years old and therefore compliant with NFPA standards. DVFD’s gear was acquired secondhand and is generally damaged and ill-suited to protecting the department’s volunteers. The donation of the new Globe gear will have a big impact on the safety of their firefighters.
- The Takla Nation is a First Nations community located in a rural area of northern British Columbia, Canada. Composed almost exclusively of volunteers, the department’s 11 members serve a population of approximately 350 over 90 square miles and respond to an average of 12 calls annually. The Takla Nation’s volunteer emergency responders are not equipped with any turnout gear and have been responding to wildland fires with coveralls, pumps, and hand tools. They are currently working with the Canadian federal government to acquire a new engine and six sets of turnout gear, but this would still leave five of their members without gear. The Takla Nation’s goal is to equip their volunteers with gear that would allow them to safely respond to structure fires.
- Preston Volunteer Fire Company (PVFC) is an all-volunteer department located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and serving a population of approximately 4,800 over 55 square miles. PVFC’s 60 volunteers respond to an average of 400 calls annually, including Basic Life Support transport and vehicle and dive rescue. Despite their high call volume, PVFC does not have enough gear to outfit all of their firefighters and has resorted to outfitting members in gear that does not fit properly and mixing and matching pieces of gear to form complete sets. With budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a decrease in donations, PVFC is unable to purchase the needed gear on their own.
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 to provide state-of-the-art turnout gear and helmets to departments in need.