Departments will each receive four sets of new turnout gear and four new helmets
MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are helping volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear through MSA’s and DuPont's Globe Gear Giveaway. In 2020, 13 departments will each receive four new sets of turnout gear and four new helmets to help enhance the safety of their firefighters. The first 500 applicants also received a one-year NVFC Membership, courtesy of MSA.
The latest recipients of MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway are the Highway K Volunteer Fire Department in Doniphan, MO, and the Valley View Volunteer Fire Department in Lawton, OK.
Highway K Volunteer Fire Department (Doniphan, MO)
Highway K Volunteer Fire Department protects 95 square miles of rural southern Missouri, serving around 900 residents and responding to an average of 35 calls annually. The department’s 16 active volunteer firefighters share 12 sets of turnout gear, all of which were donated by other fire departments and are between 15 and 25 years old. Without adequate gear, many of the normal duties required of firefighters become more difficult and dangerous. The department puts the health and safety if its members first, and due to the age and condition of their available gear, firefighters do not make interior entry during structural fires unless someone is trapped inside.
Highway K VFD is not supported by any tax dollars and instead relies on voluntary subscriptions, donations, and fundraisers. The department’s firefighters and board of directors spend hundreds of hours each year to help with fundraising efforts, but community members have limited donations to give. Rising operating costs and a small budget make purchasing multiple sets of turnout gear impossible.
In addition to the safety implications, receiving the new gear from MSA and DuPont will help the department’s efforts to recruit new firefighters. “Many [trained firefighters] do not want to volunteer for a department that cannot provide up-to-date gear,” said Chief Greg Greenwood. “I believe that having up-to-date gear that can be issued to the higher-trained volunteers will help with the recruitment and retention of volunteers.”
Valley View Volunteer Fire Department (Lawton, OK)
The Valley View Volunteer Fire Department is a relatively new department serving a rural area of southern Oklahoma. In addition to protecting 15 square miles in the immediate vicinity of their station, the department is a state-certified emergency medical response agency and responds to other districts to provide services they are lacking.
Founded in 2012, a majority of their turnout gear was donated by other departments but is now between 10 and 15 years old. Most of the department’s budget has gone to build the station and equip their trucks, leaving little left to purchase turnout gear.
“The time it will take us to save up enough money [to purchase new gear] could be too late if something were to happen now with the old gear we have,” said Chief Lin Newton. “The ability to receive new gear [through MSA’s and DuPont’s Globe Gear Giveaway] will allow us to meet the NFPA standards on gear and better protect our firefighters.”
Additional awards will be made monthly throughout 2020. Stay tuned to the NVFC web site, Dispatch newsletter, and Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the Globe Facebook page, for additional information and announcements.
Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company’s comprehensive product line is used by workers around the world in a broad range of markets, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, the construction industry, mining and the military. MSA’s core products include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, portable gas detection instruments, industrial head protection products, firefighter helmets and protective apparel, and fall protection devices. With 2018 revenues of $1.4 billion, MSA employs approximately 4,800 people worldwide. The company is headquartered north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., and has manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. With more than 40 international locations, MSA realizes approximately half of its revenue from outside North America. For more information visit MSA’s web site at www.MSAsafety.com.
DuPont (NYSE: DD) is a global innovation leader with technology-based materials, ingredients and solutions that help transform industries and everyday life. Our employees apply diverse science and expertise to help customers advance their best ideas and deliver essential innovations in key markets including electronics, transportation, construction, water, health and wellness, food, and worker safety. More information can be found at www.dupont.com/.
About DuPont Safety & Construction
DuPont Safety & Construction is a global leader in delivering innovation for life’s essential needs in water, shelter and safety; enabling its customers to win through unique capabilities, global scale and iconic brands including DuPont™ Corian®, Kevlar®, Nomex®, Tyvek®, GreatStuff™, Styrofoam™ and Filmtec®.
About the NVFC
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at www.nvfc.org.