MONROE, La. (12/19/2019)– Coats, pants, boots, and gloves are all necessities when it comes to fighting fires, but also expensive.
“When you look at a firefighter they generally run $2,000 to outfit them, not counting their air pack, so it can get very expensive to receive these type of items,” Shabrodrick Jones, Monroe Fire Investigator, said.
The gear has to be replaced at least every ten years, and for the Monroe Fire Department, it was time. That’s why the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation awarded the department with a grant for more than $20,000 to help fund ten new set of gear.
“It helps us out a lot. We have six new recuits that graduated yesterday that will be the first recipients of this gear, which came at a perfect time,” Jones said.
This new gear will replace the old, damaged gear to help protect firefighters while they are out protecting us. Officials say new gear also helps the firefighters feel safer as they respond to calls.
“It’s a great thing because we know we are putting them out there in what’s the newest standard, in the best gear that is going to protect them,” Jones said.
City leaders say residents can feel safer knowing the firefighters are able to perform their duties without any worries.
“Monroe is in the Top 50 as a Class 1 Fire Department,” Mayor Jamie Mayo said. “Equipment is very important to that, so we have to make sure that we have the highest grade of equipment to be able to serve the public. So this is very, very important. That’s why we are so appreciative of this contribution of Firehouse Subs.”
While MFD celebrated their grant, they also took time to give back to the kids in the community. It’s all through their 4th Annual Christmas toy drive. Over the past few weeks the fire department has been collecting clothes and toys for families with children of all ages. Officials say this is by far the biggest turn out they have had yet.
“Maybe [parents] haven’t worked much throughout the year or health problems and bills have added up and they haven’t been able to get the kids everything they wanted to get them for Christmas and being able to get that assistance from someone on the outside really takes that burden off of them,” Antonio Smith, MFD Media Relations, said.
The toys collected through the drive will go out to more than 30 families here in the twin cities.