Your house is on FIRE! Your family is trapped inside with no way out! They’re calling 911 right now!
WOOD COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENTS are struggling to survive today, and we need our citizen’s support to fix the funding issue once and for all- to ensure the future of the fire service in Wood County. The bottom line is- we need a reliable annual funding source.
Many community members do not know several things about their community fire departments:
- Your FD’s are staffed VOLUNTARILY by FF’s that are more than just “volunteer fire fighters”, we are UNPAID PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS. We have all completed hundreds of hours of nationally mandated fire/rescue courses to increase our knowledge, skills, and abilities -in order to provide excellent services. Not a one of us are paid- we do it all for free. We do it because we choose to SERVE!
- Most citizens don’t understand the costs associated with being an unpaid professional FF; it costs every volunteer FF financially to volunteer their service. They pay for their fuel to respond, training costs, specialized tools, extra gear, uniforms, etc. Even more than money though, volunteering costs each member their most valuable asset- their TIME– the most valuable asset a person can give! Being a volunteer fire fighter costs each fire fighter a lot of time; at the most inopportune moments the pager is pulling us away from home, family, work, church, children’s activities, projects, schooling, fundraising activities, and yes, SLEEP. Even though we are unpaid professional fire fighters, we answer that service call 24 hours a day /7 days a week /365 days a year- all to provide a needed SERVICE for our fellow man.
- FD’s provide much more service than our title suggests. Fire departments respond to fires of course, but we respond to so much more; medical first responder calls, car wrecks, plane crashes, hazardous material calls, confined space rescues, rope rescues, animal rescues, water rescues, and the list goes on and on. Today we are an all-hazards response department. If the call doesn’t require a badge and gun, then the fire department is typically dispatched.
- Fire stations and fire trucks are not government owned. FD’s are considered non-profit businesses. We file taxes, maintain equipment, purchase needed equipment, pay accountants, pay fees, pay utilities, pay loans, pay insurances, pay workers compensation insurance on every unpaid fire fighter hour they volunteer, and the list goes on. We operate in every way that a business is required by law to operate, but with no paid employees! We do this all for FREE.
- FD’s are required to adhere to standards set by the NFPA, OSHA, ISO, and other regulatory agencies. Personnel, apparatus, and facilities are our major budget costs. To properly equip, train, and insure one fire fighter is ~ $10,900. To properly equip, maintain, fuel, and insure one new fire apparatus is ~ $460,000. To properly maintain, ensure, and provide for one facility ~ $40,000 annually
- Our financial burdens to meet budgetary needs force us to spend countless hours fundraising and begging for funds to ensure the fire departments needs are met, and the doors stay open. And…. speaking of fundraising, fundraising income and support is dwindling, and has been for years. Dinners, raffles, sales, and donation drives just aren’t enough these days.
Wood County Fire Service Board By-Laws