NVFC Announces First Recipients in 2016 Globe Gear Giveaway

August 05, 2016

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Shown above: Norton Volunteer Fire Department, New Brunswick, Canada

Globe, DuPont Protection Technologies (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have partnered for the fifth year to provide new, state-of-the-art turnout gear to fire departments in need. This year, a total of 13 departments will receive four sets of gear each. The first three recipients of the 2016 Globe Gear Giveaway are Klawock (AK) Volunteer Fire Department, Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department (Broadway, NJ), and Norton Volunteer Fire Department (New Brunswick, Canada).

“We are excited to announce the first three winners of this year’s Globe Gear Giveaway,” said NVFC Chairman Kevin D. Quinn. “We received over 600 applications for gear, demonstrating the real need that exists for this type of program. 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. Thank you to Globe and DuPont for recognizing this need and for five years of supporting our nation’s volunteer fire departments through this significant donation.”

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 Klawock (AK) Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD) is located on the west side of Prince of Wales – a remote island in southeast AK accessible only by air or water. Like many rural fire and rescue departments, Klawock is under-funded, struggling, and completely volunteer-based. KVFD currently has 13 active firefighters and 11 sets of turnout gear. Six of those turnout sets were donations from another fire department and are almost 20 years old. These turnout sets are incomplete, frayed, ripped, and do not meet NFPA guidelines. During a recent mutual aid response for a large commercial structure fire, half of their responding firefighters suffered from hypothermia, smoke inhalation, and foot injuries/blisters from ill-fitting boots.

“This generous donation will not only help us retain our present volunteers, it will improve their operational readiness and ability to effectively protect life and property,” said KVFD Training Officer Robert Omstead.

The Franklin (NJ) Township Volunteer Fire Department covers 38 square miles and averages 200 to 240 calls a year, consisting of motor vehicle accidents, structure fires, wildland fires, and various types of rescues. Most department funding is raised by the fire department, combined with a small allocation from the municipalities to keep apparatus operational. Apparatus maintenance requires most of the budget, so it is a challenge to keep firefighters properly equipped and in compliant PPE. Currently, the 46-member department only has 38 sets of gear; of these, 14 are more than 10 years old. This donation will help the members concentrate on other tasks and feel confident in their day-to-day safety.

The Norton Volunteer Fire Department in New Brunswick, Canada, is a completely volunteer department handling fire, motor vehicle accident, wildland, and medical calls. With a very small budget, they maintain four trucks, a pumper, a tanker, a rescue vehicle, and a four-wheel drive half ton truck and trailer. The community has no fire hydrants, so firefighters have to draft water to fill trucks which results in large quantities of sand getting into the pumps. The sand erodes the pumps quickly so funds must be spent each year to repair the pumps and valves. The department has 22 volunteer firefighters and 24 sets of gear – but 16 sets are more than 10 years old. Much of the existing gear has been passed down from member to member. The new gear will boost the morale of their team, helping to protect them as they do their work helping those in need.

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.

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