March 9, 2012 10:32:06 PM
To update equipment and modernize fire trucks, the Lowndes County District 1 Volunteer Fire Department is embarking on a drive to raise $10,000.
"We almost raised that amount last year and we hope to do it again this year," said Volunteer Fire Chief Mark Spears, noting fire department representatives will visit each home and business in the district, asking for financial support.
"Everyone that helps us will receive a complimentary family portrait, courtesy of Professional Portrait Service," he said. "We are very fortunate that our community has been so supportive of our efforts to build a strong volunteer fire department."
Funding for volunteer fire departments is based on a percentage from the state called millage rebate. The formula is calculated from insurance money and taxes collected. The funds are funneled through the county and are distributed among the county's five districts.
"The state (gets) a grant, which says we have to upgrade our fire trucks every 15 years, regardless of the condition of the truck," Spears said. "We are hoping we can eventually replace one of our rescue trucks and the money collected from the fundraiser will certainly help."
District 1 has a fully equipped fire station in Caledonia, Steens, Lone Oaks and Border Springs. Spears said his department responded to about 340 calls in 2011.
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