ELLENBURG CENTER - Local firefighters are turning to the community for help in purchasing some new equipment.
The Ellenburg Center Volunteer Fire Department will host a roast beef dinner next Saturday, March 14, to raise money for new lights and a portable generator.
According to the department's rescue captain, Nathan J. LaBombard, the equipment will be utilized at the scene of fires, accidents and floods and in the event of power outages. Operating on a limited budget, the Ellenburg Center department relies a great deal on the success of its fundraisers, which are held five to six times a year, said LaBombard.
The support the department receives during each one is critical, he said.
"It's incredibly important," said LaBombard. "Without it, a lot of this isn't possible."
In the past, fundraisers have helped the department to purchase equipment like a Microsoft PowerPoint projection system, which has aided in training the department's 30 firefighters and emergency medical service personnel, said LaBombard.
"I do a training with [the system] at least twice a month," he said. "Before that, all of our EMS training involved using an old overhead projector and transparencies."
The department also relies on its ongoing sale of reflective address signs which help service providers locate homes in the event of an emergency. The recent sale of a large number of signs paired with a donation in memory of a past firefighter helped the department purchase an automated external defibrillator, commonly known as an AED.
"It came out to a substantial amount of money," said LaBombard.
Fundraising, said LaBombard, helps provide the approximately 5,000 people in the department's fire protection area with firefighters who have the highest quality equipment and training available.
"We're constantly looking to upgrade and purchase new equipment," said LaBombard. "And, we need to raise as much money as possible."