Firefighters: The Engines of Community Safety
“Safety is No. 1!” - that’s the fervent motto the Mexia Fire Department has lived by during the 32 years it has served Monroe County, Ala. Located off a two-lane road in the sleepy town of Mexia, a small brick building houses the all-volunteer fire department. Five-dollar raffle tickets for the upcoming fundraiser are advertised prominently for passers-by. The firefighters count on every single dollar to do their jobs.
The Mexia Fire Department raises 100 percent of its operating budget to protect the 3,200 households it serves. Recently, the funds from the department’s regular bake sales and barbeques have been given a boost. Mexia was selected among 25 fire departments across 15 states to receive a Georgia-Pacific Bucket BrigadeTM grant this year. The unit plans to use its $10,000 donation to replace badly worn “turnout” gear, the specialized clothing and equipment needed to keep firefighters safe.
The Bucket Brigade program began in 2006 and honors local firefighters protecting our facility communities. We’re proud that Bucket Brigade topped $1 million in direct contributions and educational supplies this year. The program is meeting critical needs, especially for fire departments in small and rural communities with a large volunteer base. In fact, many may not realize that of the one million U.S. fire fighters, 70 percent are volunteers. Our infographic breaks it down.
October 7-13 marks Fire Prevention Week, and we want to remind people of the brave firefighters working hard to protect and serve every day. Watch this video to hear more from our past and present Bucket Brigade grant winners.