Since 2012, Globe by MSA, DuPont Protection Solutions (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have partnered to provide 403 sets of new, state-of-the-art turnout gear to fire departments in need – a value of over $920,000. An additional 13 departments will each receive four sets of gear in 2018.
“MSA and Globe’s mission is to see to it that men and women live and work in safety and health, and that speaks to the heart of exactly why we’re proud to support the NVFC,” said Globe chief operating officer Tom Vetras. “Firefighters deserve nothing less than the very best personal protective equipment. Our Globe Gear Giveaway program – in partnership with DuPont – is just one of the ways we’re happy to support the many NVFC initiatives that help improve volunteer firefighters’ overall health, wellness, and safety.”
“Having standards-compliant, well-fitting gear is a critical component to keeping firefighters safe, healthy, and ready to respond,” said NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “We appreciate the efforts and generosity of Globe, MSA, and DuPont to help departments keep our boots on the ground safe and protected through this invaluable program.”
The first two recipients of the 2018 Globe Gear Giveaway are the Hindman (KY) Volunteer Fire Department and Cedar Fort (UT) Volunteer Fire Department.
Hindman (KY) Volunteer Fire Department
The Hindman Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD) protects 2,000 residents in Hindman, KY, located in the eastern part of the state. The department is currently celebrating 50 years of dedicated service to its community. While funding for the department has decreased over the years due to a waning coal industry from which they formerly received support, their call volume has not. Despite budget constraints, the department strives to provide the best possible service. In 2017, the HVFD increased its Insurance Service Office rating from seven to four, which is the best rating it has had since the department’s inception. In addition to emergency response, members provide fire prevention education to roughly 500 children in the community each year.
To ensure the safety of its responders, each firefighter is required to complete the KY Fire Commission 150-hour certification. However, only 15 of the HVFD’s 24 volunteers have gear, and only five of those are less than 10 years old, meaning the rest don’t meet recommended safety standards and can’t be used during live fire training in the state. Often gear must be borrowed from one member to another to be able to perform the training, leaving responders on duty without compliant gear.
“We are a great fire department with a young and dedicated membership,” said HVFD Chief James Preston Hays. “We have always tried to do the best we could with limited resources. Receiving this gear will be a great benefit to protect our firefighters and further improve as a department.”
Cedar Fort (UT) Volunteer Fire Department
The Cedar Fort Volunteer Fire Department is dedicated to serving and protecting the second largest response area in Utah County, which encompasses 214 square miles. 200 of those miles are open area where there are no paved roads and access is difficult; small blazes can quickly become a serious issue. The department is also responsible for Five Mile Pass, which is a popular recreation area designated for off-road and open-use. It is not uncommon to see thousands of people visiting the area on any given day. Cedar Fort firefighters are required to certify at Firefighter I and II and hazmat operations so they are ready to respond.
All 32 of the department’s firefighters have turnout gear; however, the gear was donated by a neighboring department and all sets are over 10 years old and no longer compliant with national safety standards. With a limited budget, the department has been unable to afford the new gear its responders so desperately need. Receiving new sets of turnouts from the Globe Gear Giveaway program will improve the safety of Cedar Fort responders and allow the department to be more effective when protecting its community and visitors.
Additional Globe Gear Giveaway awards will be made monthly throughout 2018. Stay tuned to the NVFC web site, Dispatch newsletter, and Facebook page, as well as the Globe Facebook page, for additional information and announcements regarding the Globe Gear Giveaway.