Globe, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are celebrating Globe’s 125th anniversary by giving away sets of gear to volunteer fire departments in need. In the third round of donations, 12 sets of gear each were awarded to Sleeper (MO) Volunteer Fire Department, Pittsfield (VT) Volunteer Fire Department, and Moose Creek Fire Department in Ontario, Canada.
Globe is a fourth-generation family-owned business founded in 1887. To say thank you to the first responders who selflessly devote their time and risk their own safety to protect their communities, Globe has partnered with DuPont and the NVFC to give back to resource-constrained fire departments across the country by donating much-needed sets of gear. Over 2,600 departments applied for the gear, demonstrating the critical need for a program of this nature. Donations will continue to be made throughout the year.
Sleeper Volunteer Fire Department is located in the rural community of Lebanon in southwest Missouri. The department relies entirely on donations and member dues to support their firefighting and first response efforts. With the struggling economy, the already tight budget has become even tighter. None of the department’s gear is NFPA compliant, and at times firefighters have to share the outdated gear they do have.
The firefighters at Sleeper VFD respond to every call from their community, provide mutual aid to other volunteer departments, participate in community events, and conduct a variety of community training and educational programs. Members often spend their own money to obtain equipment and fuel to keep operations running.
“People do not realize how much time and effort these individuals put into protecting others, and they do not get anything out of it other than the satisfaction of helping others. This is all we ask, and we thank our community for allowing us to be of service to them,” said Sharlene A. Rieke.
The 12 sets of gear will go a long way for the department. “We have so little and it would help so much,” Rieke said in the department’s application. “These firefighters risk their lives and always put others first. It would mean a lot to know they have the protection of NFPA-complaint safety gear.”
Pittsfield Volunteer Fire Department is located in a small, rural Vermont town in the heart of the Green Mountains. The active 25 volunteers serve their community in a variety of ways. When severe flooding from Tropical Storm Irene demolished parts of the town and washed out the roads, leaving the community stranded without access to other towns, the fire department provided food and shelter for the displaced. Firefighters also supplied their own equipment such as ATVs to trek through the woods to other towns for help and supplies.
With a minimal yearly operating budget that hasn’t changed since the early 1990s, the department struggles to fund basic expenses such as insurance and heat. “Pittsfield is faced with many of the same challenges that small, all-volunteer departments encounter with insufficient funding,” said Captain Caleb Hawley.
“We are very grateful that DuPont and Globe understand the difficulties small departments like Pittsfield have in finding the funding to purchase the appropriate gear needed to keep their members safe in the line of duty,” he added. “We still can’t believe how lucky we are to be chosen.”
The small town of Moose Creek in south-eastern Ontario, Canada, is comprised of an agricultural community as well as an environmental plant, a tire recovery and shredding facility, and sections of two highways. The volunteer firefighters have dedicated themselves to many community causes, including supporting programs and camps for children, fundraising for causes such as muscular dystrophy, cancer, and ending violence against women, participating in Habitat for Humanity, and establishing a smoke alarm program.
With no money available to purchase new gear, the 19 firefighters have to make due with gear dating back to the 1980s. “I worry that our gear is going to be responsible for the injury of one of our own, or worse death,” said District Chief Nicholas Forgues. “I do not want any orphans in our family. And that is what we are – a large family protecting an even larger family.”
The 12 sets of new Globe gear will ensure that the members of Moose Creek Fire Department have the most up-to-date protection available.