FRUITLAND, Iowa–When volunteer fire departments need to replace or update their equipment, donations from community members frequently make a huge difference. Fortunately, Fruitland has many supportive residents willing to step up and make sure their fire department has the tools and equipment they need to keep the community safe.
For many years, Fruitland resident Bill Tobias supported the Fruitland Fire Department as much as he could through annual donations. To honor his memory, both his wife, Kathy Tobias, and his employer, Carver Pump, made donations to the Fruitland Fire Department this spring, totaling $750 together. Using this pair of donations, the Fruitland Fire Department purchased several cordless electric tools needed to replace aging gas-powered ones. The newly purchased tools included a chainsaw for ventilating roofs and siding during structure fires, a cutoff saw used to cut metal on car wrecks and remove tree limbs from vehicles, and a leaf blower to help put out brush fires.
Fruitland Fire Chief Don Briggs felt extremely grateful for the donations made in Tobias’ honor, which have helped the department afford much needed supplies that they would have otherwise had to have put off purchasing for quite some time. “Otherwise, we’d be waiting five to six years to replace them with cordless,” he shared.
Recently, the Fruitland Fire Department has benefited from several donations made by local families. Through these generous gifts, the department has purchased a number of new air packs to use with their self-contained breathing apparatus or SCBA equipment, as well as updated gear for the firefighters.
Over the course of the summer, the Fruitland Fire Department plans to host several privately funded events to help them continue to update their equipment without costing local taxpayers any money. To that end, they will host a big barbeque cook off July 10, complete with lots of food, a bags tournament, a water fight, and blues music played by Spoonbill and the Ernie Peniston Band.
Each month, the Fruitland Fire Department will also have a food truck come and sell meals for the community with a portion of all the proceeds going to support the department. Thanks to a special camper hookup they added on the outside of the station, the truck can sell food well into the evening without the department having to have their building open. Monthly food sales have begun for the year, and the Fruitland Fire Department looks forward to continuing them throughout the warmer months. Briggs encourages anyone interested in supporting the Fruitland Fire Department to watch for updates about what food truck will visit Fruitland and when they will come to the fire station on the Fruitland Fire Department’s Facebook page.