Departments in KY and TX Receive New Turnouts through Globe Gear Giveaway Program

Globe, DuPont Protection Technologies (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have announced the fifth round of winners in the 2014 Globe Gear Giveaway Program. Hargett Fire Rescue in Kentucky and Medina Volunteer Fire Department in Texas will each receive four sets of new Globe turnout gear.

The Globe Gear Giveaway is a partnership between Globe, DuPont, and the NVFC to help struggling departments obtain the gear they need to protect their firefighters. So far 11 departments have been awarded gear in 2014, with two more winners to be announced in December. Departments are selected through a competitive application process managed by the NVFC. In addition to the gear, Globe also provided 200 volunteer departments with membership to the NVFC and offer all NVFC members a discount on the new CLASSIX® SE turnout gear.

“We are very pleased to partner with Globe and DuPont to help volunteer departments obtain gear and resources they need to protect their firefighters,” said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “This is the third year of the Globe Gear Giveaway, and almost 250 sets of gear have been awarded to departments across the U.S. and Canada. This program is having an immense impact on the safety and readiness of our nation’s volunteer firefighters.”

Located in rural Eastern Kentucky, Hargett Fire Rescue serves an area of 57 square miles and responds to about 120 calls per year. With a 25% structure fire ratio, the 18 volunteer firefighters rely on their gear to protect them. However, finding the funding to replace aging gear has been a challenge. The community is financially strapped and does not provide the tax base to adequately fund the department, nor enough donations to meet the needs of the department.

The volunteers of Hargett Fire Rescue continue to serve their community with what they have available, but safety is a big concern. The four sets of new Globe turnout gear will be a tremendous help to the department as they work to make sure all of their firefighters have the proper protection to do their job.

“We appreciate the efforts of the NVFC, Globe, and DuPont to assist struggling departments with this generous program,” said Robert Forehand, Chief of Hargett Fire Rescue, which also received an NVFC membership from Globe. “We look forward to enjoying the benefits of NVFC membership and appreciate the corporate responsibility of these organizations to reach out to struggling departments and communities such as ours.”

The Medina (TX) Volunteer Fire Department has 15 active volunteer firefighters and 20 support members. Volunteers respond to about 100 calls per year ranging from structural fires to high angle and swift water rescues. The department is funded entirely from donations, without any assistance from the county government. Often the volunteer firefighters need to leave their paid jobs to respond to a neighbor’s emergency.

“It’s not uncommon for these dedicated souls to forgo their normal means of income to respond to an incident, but they answer the call with great pride and a genuine sense of urgency,” said Ilona Culp, President of the Medina VFD. “We’re constantly evaluating ways to defray the costs these men and women absorb because they are often the community’s first and only line of defense and make the difference between good and bad outcomes.”

All of the gear the Medina volunteers wear are over 10 years old and don’t meet current safety standards. “Morally, we cannot send poorly equipped firefighters to the scene unless they have the gear they need to mitigate an already unsafe situation,” said Culp. “Turnout gear is the primary tool that enables a firefighter to withstand an unforgiving environment.”

With the new sets of Globe gear, the department will be able to equip almost a third of their active firefighters with state-of-the art turnouts. “The financial challenges we face are mitigated by the generosity of companies like Globe and DuPont and extends the resources we have to accomplish our mission,” Culp said.

The final gear awards of 2014 will be made in December. Stay tuned to the NVFC’s Dispatch newsletter, web site, and page on Facebook for the announcement.

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