Again in 2021, MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up to help volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear through MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway. This year, 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.
Awards were made to the following departments in July, August, and September:
- Waldo Fire Department (WFD) is a small, all-volunteer department located in Maine’s rural mid-coast region. WFD serves a population of 762 over approximately 13 square miles and also provides mutual aid to surrounding communities. With three state highways, six miles of high voltage electrical infrastructure, a natural gas pipeline, and a liquid propane depot, as well as a regional technical school and a large event center, the department has to be ready for a wide range of potential responses. WFD’s 17 volunteers share 10 sets of turnout gear, eight of which are over 10 years old. Additionally, the department’s limited budget makes it nearly impossible to purchase additional safety equipment such as gloves, hoods, and boots without financial assistance.
- Hamburg Fire Department (HFD) is an all-volunteer department with 35 members, located in rural northern New Jersey. Serving a population of approximately 3,500, HFD’s volunteers respond to an average of 250 calls annually. All 30 of HFD’s sets of turnout gear are more than 10 years old. Their limited budget makes it difficult to provide the necessary gear and equipment to keep firefighters safe while responding to incidents.
- Midland Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) is an all-volunteer department located in rural western Pennsylvania. Serving a population of approximately 2,700 over a 2.1-square-mile area, MVFD responds to an average of 240 calls annually. Although MVFD has 12 sets of turnout gear, all of the sets are 24 years old and in poor shape. Other personal protective equipment is also either lacking or severely out of date, making it difficult to properly outfit current members and bring on new members. MVFD receives no financial support from the local government and therefore relies entirely on community support. They lack a facility where they could host events, making fundraising difficult.
- Springville Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD), located in the mountains of rural western Tennessee, protects 20 square miles and a population that can swell to 2,800 during the summer tourist season. SVFD’s nine volunteers are equipped with out-of-date, worn, and even torn gear that no longer meets NFPA safety standards. Every time SVFD’s volunteers respond to an emergency, they are put at risk due to their outdated gear. Furthermore, due to funding constraints, they are unable to purchase new gear without outside help.
- Geneva Volunteer Fire Department (GVFD) is an all-volunteer department located in rural southern Alabama near the border with Florida. GVFD’s 22 members protect a population of 26,270 over 100 square miles, responding to an average of 120 calls annually. Of the 30 sets of turnout gear GVFD has, only five are less than 10 years old, meaning the rest are out of NFPA compliance. The department relies on a tobacco tax to purchase new gear, yet this source of income has dwindled year after year due to declining smoking rates. The local government is unwilling to raise taxes to provide GVFD with an alternative source of funding, and donations and fundraisers alone are not enough to cover both day-to-day operations and new gear.
- Hope Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD), located in rural central Indiana, is an all-volunteer department made up of 30 members. Serving a population of approximately 3,600 over 26 square miles, HVFD responds to an average of 425 calls annually. The department is committed to working with the town to ensure everyone has a safe living environment and is doing what it can to keep its firefighters safe as well. HVFD only has eight sets of turnout gear that are in compliance with NFPA 1851, and many of these are nearing their expiration date as well. The department is striving to replace the outdated gear to make every member NFPA compliant for the next 10 years. The donation of four sets of Globe turnout gear and four helmets will go a long way in helping HVFD reach its goal to make sure all firefighters have sufficient protection to do their job safely.
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.