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#27047 - 06/29/03 04:58 PM Firefighters need help.
Admin Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3417
Loc: NY, USA
I recently received this letter and thought I would pass it along because of the number of Firefighters among us. If you have any questions or are able to help in any way please contact the writer directly.

I am a retired Assistant Fire Chief who started a non-profit organization to help poor (under $15,000 annual budget, some as low as $500) fire departments in the U.S., known as Helping Our Own ( I am writing to you, because our organization is in need of electrical supplies, and a licensed electrician's help.

We have been in operation for the last three and a half years gathering no longer used fire equipment from larger departments and industry (which most likely would have gone out of country or been destroyed), and give it free of charge to the poor departments. While this has helped over 520 departments in the U.S., the quality of some items were just fair, but better than what the department had, which was generally nothing, or over 20 years old. Wanting to give these firefighters the best equipment available, we approached sponsors to assist us in building a refurbish center. The new refurbish center (located in south-central Michigan) has cost more than originally estimated, and we are running out of money, QUICK!!! We have received two bids for the electrical work, and both are way more than we were led to believe at the onset of the building.

What I am writing to you for is to see if there might be a Michigan licensed electrician, who might be willing to donate their time to help us get up and running. We have other volunteers that will work as laborers, or if others nearby on the list want to be involved. Also, does anyone on the list know any suppliers who might be interested in donating the supplies needed? We can pick the supplies up in one of our delivery trucks. We are in desperate need, and each day that the building completion is delayed, means another day that a firefighter in the U.S. could die or become injured from not having the proper equipment, not to mention the possible loss of life of a civilian, and the devastation that could happen.I am fairly certain that if there is a donation in regards to the electrician, or the supplies needed, I can convince our Board of Directors to consider this a form of sponsorship, and for the companies to be listed as a sponsor on our website, which averages 50,000 hits per month.

Just some side notes; Helping Our Own has helped over 520 fire departments in the U.S.with over $25 million in EQUIPMENT. We are a 501(c)(3) organization, which means all donations are tax deductible. I (Mark Warnick) am the founder, and have volunteered for the last three and a half years (with no pay), because there are over 5,000 fire departments in this condition in the U.S., and over 30,000 firefighters that this problem affect.

If someone lives outside of the area (but a licensed Michigan electrician), we would gladly pay for food and lodging while they work on the refurbish center.

Helping Our Own, Inc. is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. Donations to Helping Our Own, Inc. are tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS.

Mark S. Warnick (Founder)
Helping Our Own (TM)
Firefighter helping Firefighter
Phone: 877-446-6435
Cell: 417-255-4444

Helping Our Own (TM)
P.O. Box 413
Michigan Center, MI
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
#27048 - 06/29/03 09:47 PM Re: Firefighters need help.
Trumpy Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
That is a story and a half!.
Thanks for bringing it to us.
I will go to the website and make a donation, as I feel that this is all I can do, coming from the other side of the world.
This sounds like a really GOOD cause.
I never realised that so many Fire Departments in the US used such antiquated gear?.
All power to these guys!!.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin
#27049 - 06/30/03 08:52 AM Re: Firefighters need help.
DougW Offline
Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: North Chicago, IL
My VFD has donated engines (sold for $1), and old turn out gear to rural VFD's - some still don't have SCBA's.

Anybody know what MI license requirements are? I might be able to go over there in a few weeks...
#27050 - 07/01/03 03:58 AM Re: Firefighters need help.
sparky Offline
Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5303
the sad fact is, many times the funds are there and can be had.

much of the ragtag contingent usually are rural ERE's in municipal dept's whom aswer to selectboards that have no clue as to how to properly equip personel,OSHA regs, have revolving equipment funding, etc.

thus , any real gain is made via the annual town meeting 'pitch fork festival' thru public humiliation re; crisis managment etc etc, ad naseum....

Steve(clad in nomex 1 handmedowns)aka sparky
#27051 - 07/01/03 11:26 AM Re: Firefighters need help.
DougW Offline
Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Agreed - but I have news for you... it's not much better in many municipal (24/7 staffed) departments. Even though we are a "home rule" community, and can raise taxes without a referendum (unlike many of our brethern in the county who are FPD's (Fire Protection Districts), and must lobby before the elections), we still get shafted.

Our aldermen have been taking the ambulance revenue, and depositing it into the "general (municipal) fund" for years, and then complaining about how much the FD costs to operate. Funny, thing though, the PD keeps a lot of their ticket revenue...

We also get complaints during negotiations about how the City's "going broke", and they can't give us bigger raises - the Aldermen get free health care, however. Hmmm.

A friend of mine who quit after 11 years to finish law school once said "...a fire depratment is like an insurance policy. You have to have it, but you want to only pay for the minimum"
#27052 - 07/01/03 02:36 PM Re: Firefighters need help.
sparky Offline
Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5303
gee Doug, the same hand that publicly gives you a pat on the back slices your throat at budget time too?
go figger....

and checks marked 'donation' in that little memo line go into your general fund?

while the boys drive antiques to MCI's.....makes me madder than a wet hen

perhaps i have more in common with you city folk than i think? i still will remain a tad jealous at the parades where the rescue trucks are bigger that moving vans, the cop shop knows that 'defib' isn't a bar of ivory soap, and the chief doesn't remind one of Otis from mayberry


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