Helping to Protect Our Volunteer Firefighters

Since 2012, we’ve partnered with DuPont Protection Solutions and the National Volunteer Fire Council to provide 351 sets of new, state-of-the-art turnout gear to volunteer fire departments in need – a value of over $800,000. Through our Globe Gear Giveaway Program, an additional 13 departments will receive four sets of gear each in 2017.
Awards in the 3rd quarter were made to the following departments:

  • Gustavus Volunteer Fire Department (AK) ‒ The Gustavus Volunteer Fire Department is located in a rural community 50 miles west of Juneau and covers nearly 38 square miles plus mutual aid to Glacier Bay National Park. The department serves a population of over 500 in the winter and up to 2,000 in the busy summer months during the tourist season. With only 10 sets of gear available for their 27 volunteer firefighters, this donation will enable the department to train and respond safely and in accordance with state and national standards.
  • Island Heights Volunteer Fire Company (NJ) ‒ The Island Heights Volunteer Fire Company is funded entirely by donations, fundraisers, and grants. Their members, comprised entirely of volunteers, devote countless hours to training, emergency response, fundraising, administrative duties, and maintaining equipment, apparatus, and the station. Firefighters are trained in all aspects of fire suppression, ventilation, search and rescue, forcible entry, ladders, salvage and overhaul, water and ice rescue, hazardous materials, and CPR. Many members also pursue additional training as fire officers, instructors, wildland firefighters, incident commanders, and more. While all 30 of their volunteers currently have turnout gear, 18 of those are more than 10 years old and no longer compliant with safety standards. “The acquisition of turnout gear from Globe will allow the department to more safely serve the residents of Island Heights, while simultaneously relieving financial pressure from a limited operations budget,” said the department’s grant committee chair David Hansen.
  • Louise Fire Department (Manitoba, Canada) ‒ The Louise Fire Department is located in Crystal City, Manitoba. Their 32 volunteer firefighters protect a population of 1,900 in the rural municipality of Louise, which is 360 square miles. Each volunteer is currently equipped with gear, but seven sets are more than 15 years old, and 22 sets are nine years old. The department has been successful at recruiting new members by increasing their training methods and creating stronger morale and excitement about being a volunteer firefighter; however, they understand that there can be a negative effect when a recruit is faced with donning PPE that is outdated and non-compliant to safety standards. Their goal is to be able to continue to create momentum and stronger comradery in their membership by ensuring they have the right equipment to support their members in their duties. “Our department, much like many others, is made up of farmers, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, business owners, mothers, and fathers. We believe strongly that we need to provide the best opportunity for them to return home safely from every call. Effective PPE is the first step to ensure that happens,” said Louise Fire Captain Curtis MacKinnon.
  • Graniteville Volunteer Fire/Rescue (Nevada City, CA) ‒ Graniteville Volunteer Fire/Rescue provides structure and emergency protection to the Graniteville townsite in Nevada City, CA, and the surrounding 80 square mile recreational area in the Sierra Nevada. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, the community is an hour removed from mutual aid companies and has a very spread out population. The department currently has eight firefighters but only four sets of gear, all of which are more than 10 years old. The four sets were given to the department through the efforts of one of their volunteers, who was employed at an oil refinery. The gear is stained by refinery products from fire incidents, and this has concerned the volunteers due to the possible carcinogens fused into the fabric. This gear donation will provide the department’s members with desperately needed protective equipment, enabling them to safely serve their community.
  • Lowell Volunteer Fire Department (VT) ‒ The Lowell Volunteer Fire Department is located in northern Vermont near the Canadian border and serves 600 residents over 65 square miles. In addition to regular emergency response activities, the department is also tasked with high-angle rescue services for the 25 wind turbines in town. While all 20 volunteers currently have turnout gear, all sets are over 10 years old and not compliant with recommended safety standards. The department hopes to eventually purchase new gear for all of their members to provide the safety and protection their responders so desperately need. As Assistant Chief Gerry Nick notes, “Four sets [is] a huge start for our replacement goals.”
  • Latir Volunteer Fire Department (Questa, NM) ‒ The Latir Volunteer Fire Department serves a community of 2,000 individuals in northern New Mexico. The department provides protection from wildfires, structural fires, and lightning strikes, as well as conducts safety education in the community. Due to budget cuts, they are struggling to maintain basic equipment and supplies that are vital to sustaining a full-service department. Only 12 of the 19 firefighters on their roster have turnout gear, and all 12 sets of gear are over 10 years old. The donation of four sets of Globe gear will greatly help the department in their efforts to replace torn gear worn by their seasoned volunteers and equip new recruits so they are protected and able to respond.

To be eligible to apply for four sets of Globe gear, departments had to meet the following requirements:

  • be all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer (over 50%
  • serve a population of 25,000 or les
  • be located in the U.S. or Canada and legally organized under state/province la
  • demonstrate a need for the gea
  • department or person applying must be a member of the NVFC. To help struggling departments meet the membership criteria, Globe provided a complimentary NVFC Membership to the first 500 applicants.

We all owe a huge debt of thanks to the volunteers who are the frontline of firefighting in communities across the country. Globe is glad to be able to improve the safety of some of these departments with limited resources by providing their members with the most advanced turnout gear.