MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up again to help volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway. In 2020, another 13 departments will each receive 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.
In September and October, awards were made to the following departments:
- Florahome-Grandin Volunteer Fire Department (FGVFD) serves a community of approximately 2,000 over a 106-square-mile area of rural Putnam County, Florida, responding to around 450 calls annually that range from fire suppression to medical to motor vehicle accidents. Additionally, FGVFD provides direct mutual aid to nearby towns, adding more than 200 square miles to their response area and thousands more citizens. Despite this, FGVFD only has five sets of turnout gear in total that its 12 firefighters must share. With a tight budget from the county to cover operating expenses, they rely heavily on fundraising efforts to make ends meet. However, the immediate need for new gear is beyond what they are able to afford.
- Garden Homes Fire Protection District in Alsip, Illinois, is the last remaining volunteer fire department in Cook County and provides highly trained and qualified firefighters to the community while also providing significant savings to its nearly 1,700 residents. However, funding is an ongoing challenge, and the department is making do with old gear and equipment, an outdated firehouse, and emergency vehicles in need of replacement. Thanks to assistance from another grant, the department was recently able to purchase eight sets of turnout gear, but most of its 32 members still rely on non-compliant, damaged gear. The department’s firefighters association is working to replace gear through fundraising, but it will take years to meet the pressing need. The addition of four new sets of gear and four new helmets through MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway will have a significant impact in helping more firefighters respond safely and effectively to the needs of the community.
- Highway K Volunteer Fire Department in Doniphan, Missouri, protects 95 square miles of rural southern Missouri, serving around 900 residents and responding to an average of 35 calls annually. The department’s 16 active volunteer firefighters share 12 sets of turnout gear, all of which were donated by other fire departments and are between 15 and 25 years old. Without adequate gear, many of the normal duties required of firefighters become more difficult and dangerous. Highway K VFD is not supported by any tax dollars and instead relies on voluntary subscriptions, donations, and fundraisers. The department’s firefighters and board of directors spend hundreds of hours each year to help with fundraising efforts, but community members have limited donations to give. Rising operating costs and a small budget make purchasing multiple sets of turnout gear impossible. In addition to the safety implications, receiving the new gear from MSA and DuPont will help the department’s efforts to recruit new firefighters.
- Valley View Volunteer Fire Department in Lawton, Oklahoma, is a relatively new department serving a rural area of southern Oklahoma. In addition to protecting 15 square miles in the immediate vicinity of their station, the department is a state-certified emergency medical response agency and responds to other districts to provide services they are lacking. Founded in 2012, a majority of their turnout gear was donated by other departments but is now between 10 and 15 years old. Most of the department’s budget has gone to build the station and equip their trucks, leaving little left to purchase turnout gear.
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 to departments in need.