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Medina VFD thankful for new gear


Medina Volunteer Fire Department will receive four sets of new Globe turnout gear as recipients of the 2014 Globe Gear Giveaway Program. Globe, DuPont Protection Technologies (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) recently announced that the local fire department was among the fifth round of winners in the program.
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.
The Medina VFD 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.
"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 program is having an immense impact on the safety and readiness of our nation's volunteer firefighters."