Departments in NY, MS, and TX will each receive four new sets of gear
MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) teamed up in 2019 to distribute 52 sets of much-needed turnout gear to 13 volunteer fire departments through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway. This annual program began in 2012 to provide departments in need with the proper equipment to better protect their personnel.
Rutland Volunteer Fire Company (Black River, NY), Utica (MS) Volunteer Fire Department, and Rocky Creek Volunteer Fire Department (Burton, TX) are this year’s final recipients. Each will receive four sets of new turnout gear along with four helmets to increase firefighter safety.
Rutland Volunteer Fire Company (Black River, NY)
Over the past few years, Rutland Volunteer Fire Company has experienced an increase in call volume of about 15 percent. Calls are mostly comprised of motor vehicle accidents and structure fires. However, less than half of the department’s firefighters are outfitted with fully compliant gear. Since safety is a top priority in the department, this means many volunteers are relegated to support tasks which don’t require full protection while only minimal personnel are able to work the “hot zone” of a scene.
Department members work hard to fundraise, but with all of the operational demands they also have, the volunteers aren’t able to raise enough to purchase the amount of gear needed to fully outfit each member with compliant gear.
“Receiving new gear through this program [will] greatly help us achieve our goal of outfitting as many members as possible with fully compliant gear and increase the number of personnel we have available to perform direct action tasks during response to emergency incidents,” said Chief William E. Kalin III.
Utica (MS) Volunteer Fire Department
The Utica Volunteer Fire Department serves a population of 4,687 people over 75 square miles. They run an average of 375 calls per year despite operating on a shoestring budget that barely covers the necessities of daily operations such as fuel, preventative maintenance, and equipment repairs.
A jump in membership over the past four years has tripled the number of active volunteers to 27, but the department has to make do with only 11 sets of gear, six of which are older than 10 years and thus not NFPA compliant. In addition, fewer than 10 members have boots that fit correctly, and many members’ boots are cracked or worn out.
According to Lieutenant Lauren Stubblefield, a department risk assessment placed PPE as the highest priority. “We [need] this grant for the safety and protection of all our members,” she said.
Rocky Creek Volunteer Fire Department (Burton, TX)
Rocky Creek Volunteer Fire Department covers a 46-square-mile district in Washington County, TX, along with 18 square miles of lake and 622 square miles of mutual aid. The department is an area leader in both wildland firefighting as well as in wide area search and rescue.
The department does not receive tax funding and so relies on fundraisers to assist with operational costs. All of its structural PPE has been passed down from paid fire departments, and all are more than 10 years old. In addition, volunteers are currently using brush apparatus for structural firefighting due to a lack of funding and a mechanical failure in its structural engine.
“Rocky Creek VFD is a fairly busy location with very dedicated volunteers,” said Assistant Chief Tim Hamff. He noted that having new gear instead of hand-me-downs from other departments would have an impact both on the safety of the firefighters as well as the overall morale. “Being awarded this grant [will] not only allow our interior firefighters to have proper PPE, it [will] also help us grow leaps and bounds with the mentality of the department.”
Stay tuned to the NVFC web site, Dispatch newsletter, and Facebook page, as well as the Globe Facebook page, in the coming weeks for a wrap-up of the 2019 MSA Globe Gear Giveaway and information on the 2020 program.
Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company’s comprehensive product line is used by workers around the world in a broad range of markets, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, the construction industry, mining and the military. MSA’s core products include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, portable gas detection instruments, industrial head protection products, firefighter helmets and protective apparel, and fall protection devices. With 2018 revenues of $1.4 billion, MSA employs approximately 4,800 people worldwide. The company is headquartered north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., and has manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. With more than 40 international locations, MSA realizes approximately half of its revenue from outside North America. For more information visit MSA’s web site at www.msasafety.com.
About DuPont Personal Protection
DuPont Personal Protection is a business unit of DuPont Safety & Construction. From first responders to industrial workers, DuPont provides a wide range of personal protection solutions including some of the most trusted and innovative brands in the industry, such as Kevlar®, Nomex®, Tyvek®, and Tychem® to meet your safety needs. More information can be found at www.personalprotection.dupont.com.
About DuPont Safety & Construction
DuPont Safety & Construction is a global leader in delivering innovation for life’s essential needs in water, shelter and safety; enabling its customers to win through unique capabilities, global scale and iconic brands including DuPont™ Corian®, Kevlar®, Nomex®, Tyvek®, GreatStuff™, Styrofoam™ and Filmtec®.
About the NVFC
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at www.nvfc.org.