Globe, DuPont Protection Technologies (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have announced the second round of winners in the 2016 Globe Gear Giveaway. In the fifth annual Giveaway, a total of 13 departments will each receive four sets of new, state-of-the-art turnout gear. The latest recipients of the 2016 Globe Gear Giveaway are the Glacier County Rural Fire Department in Cut Bank, Montana, and Walker Lake (NV) Volunteer Fire Department.
“We are pleased to grant gear to two more deserving fire departments as part of the Globe Gear Giveaway,” said NVFC Chairman Kevin D. Quinn. “Many departments are struggling to provide gear to their members and often have to make do with gear that is old, non-compliant, ill-fitting, and otherwise inadequate, putting the safety of the boots-on-the-ground firefighters at risk. We are grateful to Globe and DuPont for continuing to support the nation’s fire service through this important program.”
To be eligible to apply for the four sets of new Globe turnout gear, departments had to be all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer, serve a population of 25,000 or less, be legally organized in the U.S. or Canada, demonstrate a need for the gear, and be a member of the NVFC. To help departments meet this last requirement, Globe sponsored NVFC Department Memberships for the first 500 applicants.
The Glacier County Rural Fire Department (GCRFD) in Cut Bank, Montana, serves five small communities and two incorporated towns in an area that includes the Blackfeet Indian Reservation land. There are multiple ports to Canada nearby as well as several entrances into Glacier National Park, bringing thousands of tourists through the area in summer months. Summer in the area also typically brings fire season: Glacier County has witnessed a number of wildfires that have destroyed property and affected wildlife habitat, scenic resources, and air quality. GCRFD is responsible for ensuring that county lines are covered in the event of fires, providing mutual aid for wildland fires, lending tribal assistance, and responding to EMS calls when requested. In addition, they provide fire prevention and safety outreach in the community, and they even organized a donation drive to get winter clothing for local children who were unable to afford it.
The GCRFD budget is dedicated to maintenance of older vehicles, supplies, building costs, and training; all of their gear is more than 10 years old and many volunteers are making do with sets that don’t fit correctly. The four sets of new Globe gear will help protect GCRFD firefighters from loss of life or serious injury while they work to protect their community.
The Walker Lake (NV) Volunteer Fire Department’s 12 volunteer firefighters respond within a 50-square-mile service area. All of their gear is over 10 years old, and most are over 20 years old. During a training exercise, the knee area in the thermal liner of one firefighter’s set of gear failed. This led to an investigation that found that the 10 oldest sets of the department’s turnout gear have started to break down. Due to this safety hazard, they have had to adjust their tactics, preventing firefighters from performing interior fire attack. The department has a small budget that is supplemented through monthly fundraisers, but they are unable to get afford new turnout gear without cutting back on other department operations.
“With these new, up-to-date turnouts, we will be able to better protect our community,” said Fire Chief Adam Greenfield. “We will also be able to keep our firefighters safer as they perform interior attacks. We greatly appreciate this donation.”
Additional awards through the Globe Gear Giveaway will be made monthly throughout 2016. A total of 52 sets of gear will be distributed to departments in need. Stay tuned to the NVFC Web site, Dispatch newsletter, and page on Facebook, as well as the Globe page on Facebook, for additional information and announcements regarding the Globe Gear Giveaway.