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. Now in its tenth year, the program has provided over $1 million worth of gear to assist volunteer fire departments in need. In 2021, 13 departments will each receive four sets of turnout gear and four 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 Tunas (MO) Volunteer Fire Department and Selden Volunteer Fire Department in Stephenville, Texas.
Tunas Volunteer Fire Department
The Tunas Volunteer Fire Department (TVFD) is an all-volunteer department located in rural central Missouri. Founded in 1984 by local landowners and farmers, TVFD protects approximately 1,600 people over an area of 70 square miles, responding 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.
“Having some newer gear would allow for more of our trained firefighters to engage in interior fire attack,” said firefighter and paramedic Jesse VanMiddlesworth. “The firefighters in our department are very honored to receive this grant and be a part of this wonderful program.”
Selden Volunteer Fire Department
Located in a rural area southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, the Selden Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) 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.
“The purchase of new, serviceable gear is beyond our financial ability,” said firefighter Jason Medders. “We have been raising money for two years to replace an aging and unsafe firefighting apparatus and are faced with a choice: having safe, well-fitted gear or being able to respond to incidents safely on a reliable fire apparatus.”
Additional awards will be made monthly throughout 2021. 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.