Christian County (MO) Fire Service Needs New Fire Equipment

Volunteer Firefighters in Chadwick are gearing up for another busy summer season.

“There’s not really a typical day. It can go from a small grass fire to something you’re totally not expecting,” said volunteer firefighter Shannon Holt.

Volunteer firefighters respond to about 130 calls each year. They help the community with everything from car rescues to house fires. But their resources are limited, which means getting new equipment has had to wait.

“We try to take advantage of grant opportunities annually but those really have been drying up within the past few years,” said George Wheelock, President of the Chadwick Rural Volunteer Fire Protection District (CRVFPD) Board of Directors.

They also put the issue up for vote. Residents inside this tax-based fire district voted against tax levy increases in the past two April elections which would have helped pay for new equipment.

“We do have breathing equipment currently but it’s older and it’s really not sufficient for our needs,” said Wheelock.

“We see the SCBA’s or Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses as a top priority because they have a lot to do with the safety of our firefighters,” he explained.

So faced with aging gear and limited resources, board members created a GoFundMe website to try and raise the money.

“Our initial goal is $6,000 because we believe we can buy four new masks to use with the current bottle and backpack assemblies that we have,” said Wheelock.

Eventually board members hope to replace the entire units, but for now, just having new masks will tremendously help with response time.

“Being able to get our equipment on faster because some of the other stuff is wore out and you have to be really careful with it or you might tear it up,” said Holt.

“The new equipment might make it easier to fight fires and potentially save someone in the house,” Holt explained.

“The more money we have through this GoFundMe account the better we can serve the public. Having better equipment could help keep us and them safer,” Holt added.

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