- Last Updated on 07:57 PM 11/01/12
- BY Special to the Gazette
It’s time again for the annual Liberty Volunteer Fire Department fund drive.
Volunteer firefighters will be going door to door Saturday in the community seeking donations for the fire department, said Liberty VFD Chief Andy Hughes.
Liberty Volunteer Fire Department members have for the past four years gone door to door in their district area and collected donations from those who would like to give to the local department.
“This is their major fundraiser event, and basically the department’s only means for income,” said Hughes. “The department itself is county owned, and the members are all volunteers. Time, dedication, monthly training and inspections are required of them as members, not to mention the numerous first responder calls and fires we answer.”
On average, this small community department runs many calls a month. New members have come in this past year, Hughes said, adding a need for new gear and pagers that can cost $3,000 or more per person.
Liberty VFD prides itself for its quick response time and large turnout to such events as the parades, firemen competitions and other department fundraisers.
However, being a small department has a big disadvantage, Hughes said.
“Often we are overlooked. This results in lack of funding by its own people,” he said. “If you receive a knock at your door or a letter in your door on Saturday, we are your fire department.
“What does this mean to you? It means when your loved ones are in a moment of panic for their lives, our faces will be the first you will see. It means when your house is suddenly filled with smoke in the middle of the night, our firemen jump out of their beds, rain sleet or snow to rush to your rescue. It means when your infant stops breathing, we are there with trained hands to get air back in those little lungs. We are 20-30 minutes away from the town limits, those minutes mean life or death when waiting for an ambulance to arrive,” the fire chief added.
“What we do, we do out of our own desire and love for our community and its people. But the question is, what does it mean to you? Please, we ask that you take time and consider this and decide for yourself what would happen if your fire department had to close its door due to lack of funding. What if you had to wait that extra 10 minutes for the next nearest department to answer your desperate call?” Hughes asked.
The fire department volunteers will collect money Saturday.
“Our desire is simply this … help us help you,” Hughes concluded.