Windsor Fire Department seeks help to get new equipment

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 28, 2004

Windsor Township firefighters plan to ask residents there to approve a fire levy when they go to the polls this November.

The levy is one of several ways firefighters plan to raise money to replace worn out equipment.

In addition to the levy, firefighter Tyler Hamlin said the department is having a charity softball game in mid-August. The money raised will pay for a new pager system.

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"Our present system is about 20 years old," Hamlin said. "Right now, we're picking up signals from Vanceburg, Ky., and Raleigh, County, W.Va. We get a lot of cross frequency."

The new system will cost approximately $400 per firefighter. The department has 20 firefighters on its roster.

Hamlin said while the event is meant to raise money, he hopes it will also raise awareness among Windsor residents about the needs of the department.

"It will be a get-to-know-your-fire-department event," Hamlin said. "That's something I think is lacking. A lot of people don't know who their firefighters are."

A recent door-to-door campaign netted $1,700 that will be used to pay for the new pagers.

Hamlin said much of the department's equipment is old and outdated. Some of it was purchased used from other departments.

"Quite a bit of it is army surplus," Hamlin said. "Our bunker gear is from Chesapeake."

Hamlin said one problem is that smaller, rural departments typically have smaller budgets because most of their revenues come from residential property taxes, whereas fire departments in villages can rely on businesses, which makes a big difference in operating budgets.

Firefighters are hoping the third time will be the charm when they put the levy on the November ballot. The last two times, Windsor voters rejected the levies by narrow margins.

"Each time it was a close loss, but it was a loss that hurt us," Hamlin said.