'Toll booth' raises more than $6,000 for fire department
Rockport — Rockport Fire Department held a “toll booth” fundraiser Aug. 8 at the intersection of routes 90 and 17 and raised more than $6,000 toward equipment and tools that will help them service the town more efficiently.
“It never ceases to amaze me the generosity of people when it comes to supporting the fire department,” Chief Jason Peasley said. “We have been able to raise funds outside of what the town has set aside for us in the equipment budget – money that was given freely and not at the burden of the taxpayers.”
He added, “I can not thank the people who donated enough because it helps ensure that our firefighters can do their job in the safest possible manner and better help those that call us in a time of need.”
The cost of running a fire department has increased dramatically during the past few years and with the implementation of new laws covering safety and the replacement timeline of equipment, departments look to donations to help support operations.
A set of turn-out gear -- protective clothing -- could be used for 25 years before having to be replaced. With new laws, each set needs to replaced every 10 years at a cost of approximately $1,600 a set, Peasley said.
Since taking over the reins of the department a little over a year ago, Peasley has applied for and received more than $55,000 in grants and donations to replace outdated gear, hoses, tools and communication equipment.