MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are helping volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear through MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway. In 2020, 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.
The latest recipients of MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway are the Florahome-Grandin (FL) Volunteer Fire Department and Garden Homes Fire Protection District (Alsip, IL).
Florahome-Grandin (FL) Volunteer Fire Department
The 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.
“Any assistance that we can get to properly outfit our firefighters and keep them safe is much appreciated and a huge benefit to the community by providing them with more firefighters to serve them in their time of need,” said lieutenant Monica Weaver.
Garden Homes Fire Protection District (Alsip, IL)
As the last remaining volunteer fire department in Cook County, Illinois, the Garden Homes Fire Protection District 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 However, funding is an ongoing challenge, and the department is making do with old gear and equipment, an outdated firehouse, and emergency vehicles in need of replacement.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. “Our main concern is keeping the members safe to respond. We cannot help the community if we cannot safely respond,” said lieutenant Mark Taylor.
Additional awards will be made monthly throughout 2020. Stay tuned to the NVFC web site, Dispatch newsletter, and Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the Globe Facebook page, for additional information and announcements.