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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Fire Dept gets new gear

GFD recently purchased new equipment. Photo by Sarah Ruiz.

Lily Böhlke, Copy Editor

If you’ve seen firefighters looking extra spiffy recently, it may be because the Grinnell Fire Department recently purchased 25 brand new sets of turnout gear.

The new sets of turnout gear, which include helmets, coats, pants, boots and gloves, cost 3,000 dollars each. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends replacements for turnout gear every ten years; however, many sets of gear at GFD were between 11 and 20 years old.

GFD recently purchased new equipment. Photo by Sarah Ruiz.
GFD recently purchased new equipment. Photo by Sarah Ruiz.

“We had a training fire and one of the guys got a small burn on his knee,” said Fire Chief Dan Sicard. “What we realized was that we had different generations of gear. He was in some older stuff while the other men were in newer stuff, and they didn’t feel the heat like he did.”

In addition to replacing turnout gear, GFD regularly spends money on maintenance and repairs as well as replacing older equipment.

“Our fleet of trucks is getting older — our ladder truck is over 26 years old,” Sicard said.

Another recent expenditure by the Fire Department was Fire Prevention Week, where GFD, partnering with NFDA, ensured that Grinnell residents have working fire alarms and other preventative measures are taken.

“The Grinnell Fire Department has been able to continue its program of installing smoke detectors for any area residents if needed,” said Sicard in a GFD Press Release.

The Fire Department has five full-time, two part-time and 25 volunteer firefighters. However, recently fewer volunteers have been responding to calls.

“On a call, on average we get 1 out of 3 volunteers,” Sicard said. “People have gotten busier and businesses don’t let them go like they used to, people travel for work — things like that.”

The Fire Department receives money from the City of Grinnell, applies regularly for grants and receives donations.

“The city provides funding for the Fire Department — we have five full-time members and they pay for their salaries, fuel for the trucks and maintaining the trucks and things like that,” Sicard said.

Updates, however, are fundraised by members and volunteers. Firefighters hold an annual dance and collect money at the door, they have a pancake breakfast with an open house of the Fire Department and two years ago, GFD raised money at the Iowa Firefighters Association.

“A lot of money is spent on maintenance more than buying new things,” Sicard said.

Aside from the fundraising, the Fire Department holds Puppies and Pancakes, a study break at the College, allowing students a carbohydrate-filled way to release some stress during finals.

“We love doing that,” Sicard said. “I’m glad students enjoy it.”

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