“IFRM is not deviating from its mission of delivering used fire and EMS gear to firefighters in developing countries,” says IFRM President Ron Gruening. “However, we occasionally receive requests for domestic donations. Domestic donations are outside our mission and not an area IFRM intends to pursue. Yet, to help those fire departments, we have set up a list of organizations that will facilitate domestic donations.”
The referral list currently has two organizations: FreeFireGear.org and S.O.S. Supply. FreeFireGear.org is backed by FirefighterFund.org and is located on the East Coast. S.O.S. Supply is a charitable branch of Consumer Fire Products Inc., and is located on the West Coast. IFRM intends to add more such groups in the future to its referral list.
“It is our belief that U.S. fire departments should be fully supported by local, state and federal funds,” Gruening says. “It is shameful that fire departments in the United States are looking for hand-me-down equipment. We want nothing more than to see U.S. fire departments have the resources they need to carryout their work. We want the issue of domestic equipment donations to become moot. Until that time, IFRM will point U.S. fire departments to where they can find or offer help.”
Those interested in being added to the referral list, or donating equipment, time or money to the International Fire Relief Mission can do so by contacting Ron Gruening by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at +1 612-669-8500. S.O.S. Supply can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at +1 866-901-2357. FreeFireGear.org can be reached via its Web site at www.freefiregear.org.