If you live in Newburgh, you probably received a flyer asking for your donation, but many of our volunteer fire departments in the Tri-State face the same dilemma, serving their communities and doing what they love on a very tight budget.
"It's a firefighter safety issue and that's why we've made it a priority," said Newburgh's Assistant Fire Chief, Chad Bennett.
Like many volunteer fire stations, the firefighters who wear these uniforms are not on salary. Instead, they are paid $5 to $8 per run.
Newburgh's Volunteer Fire Department operates on a $120,000 yearly budget, just enough for insurance, fuel, operating trucks and replacing equipment.
This year they are hoping to raise enough money for new turn out gear.
"Turnout gear has a ten year lifespan, and our gear is nearing the end of its life," Bennett said.
It costs about $2,800 to outfit each firefighter, about $100,000 for the entire department.
"It's like any item, you know. When it reaches it's expiration date, it's not automatically going to disintegrate and go away, but the protective layers that are in there. The manufacturer says that is the end of it's life, Bennett said. "Have I eaten a can of soup that was passed the expiration date, and I've been fine, but I don't want to do that forever I want to get the latest and greatest that's out there."
So far the department has raised about $11,000.
Donations can be made online at newburghfire.com or to:
Newburgh Volunteer Firefighters Association, Inc.
C/O Peoples Trust & Savings Bank
705 State St, Newburgh, IN 47630-1183.
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