Editorial: Sounding an alarm to assist

Aug. 02, 2014 @ 11:57 PM

Long before the 1971 television commercial for margarine, we knew the generally accepted knowledge of not fooling with Mother Nature. We don’t think a couple of our non-profits have, but goodness knows we need to get on her good side.

In June weather put a dent into the Relay for Life weekend, the signature event and pivotal donation days of the annual campaign.

This weekend, our beloved volunteer firefighters battled the elements on the two days for their major fundraiser, an annual truck and tractor pull at the county fairgrounds.

The significant blow affects all of us, whether we’re served by firemen in the city or the county, and regardless of whether we wanted to see the massive power and hear the loud engines.

Volunteer firemen have two primary sources of support to keep their operations going. One is their respective line items in the county budget, and the other is our donations.

Budgets for all government entities are already stretched snare drum tight. Most fire departments have other fundraisers, with stew and chicken plates very popular. We get a good taste of hospitality and food, not to mention appreciation, every time we go to those.

The truck and tractor pull is the same — people with passion for a form of entertainment. Firefighters have a passion for helping others, coming at any hour of the day or night to try and protect us and our belongings from fire.

Costs for departments are staggering. Buildings, maintenance, equipment and training top the list. For a new truck, we’re talking anywhere from a quarter-million to a half-million dollars.

Keep in mind, when the fire departments are best equipped and have great range of coverage, we’re provided safety and advantages in insurance rates.

Our firemen have taken a big hit this weekend. But we can help.

Regardless of plans on going and spending a little while there, we suggest a “non-emergency” call to a local volunteer fire department and asking how to drop off or mail a check.

We’re sure they could put it to good use, and would greatly appreciate it.