10/24/11 Plymouth Volunteer Firefighters are grateful for the support from the community as they continue to raise the needed funds for a training tower. They will be using the donations received from a mailing to local residents a few weeks ago to purchase the first two parts of a training facility that comes at a cost of $20,000.
The parts are built from shipping crates that have been galvanized and modified with such accessories as doors, windows, stairs, and movable partitions.
Speaking for the volunteers, Art Jacobs said, “One-hundred percent of the monies received from this campaign will be placed in a separate account for the training tower.” Jacobs explained that the most recent certification requirements by the state and the need for training more volunteers make it necessary to have a training site inPlymouth. Currently, the volunteers must travel to other towns, such asWarsaw, to complete the training for certification and continue with ongoing safety training. Jacobs said, “When we go out of town with a number of volunteers and trainers, it leaves fewer firefighters to respond to calls inPlymouth.”
Fire Department Chief Andy Metsker said they are grateful that their needs for equipment have been met though the city and from grants. However, Jacobs made it clear that just have equipment is not enough. He said, “All that stuff is worthless without training.”
Having a training site inPlymouthwill allow weekly training sessions in controlled environments. Jacobs spoke of the need to teach volunteers and staff how to be comfortable with air bags (self-contained breathing apparatus) along with other life saving skills such as the use of thermo cameras.
Those contributing $30 to the volunteer training fund will receive a free family portrait on October 22. The portraits will be taken by appointment only. Jacobs said, “We felt by working with the portrait company that would be able to give the public a benefit.”
From January 1 to September 30 of this year, the Fire Department /EMS personnel and volunteers have responded to 1,213 emergency medical services incidents, 141 medical assists, 11 vehicle fires, 10 vegetation fires, 12 public service assistance calls, ten rescues, six rubbish fires, 24 structure fires, and a host of other calls.
To learn more about the donation campaign or for additional information about the volunteer program, call Steve Holm at 936-2156.
Carol Anders Correspondent