A fundraiser earlier this month will help a small local fire department beef up their ability to fight grass and wildland fires in the future.
A benefit BBQ raised nearly $4,850 for the McGrew Fire Department, which Fire Chief and District Board Chairman Mike Wamboldt told KNEB News would be used for upgrades such as Nomex fire-resistant clothing.
Department firefighters were among the first to arrive for the Hubbard Gap fire, but without some of the equipment other districts use for that specific type of fire activity. “We lack some of the wildland firefighting gear we needed. We have bunker gear that’s way too hot for doing wildland fire, so we need some wildland fire gear,” said Wamboldt. “This shined a lot of light on what we lack. We have a lot going for us, but we lack in some areas too, so I think this will help us tremendously in the future.”
Wamboldt says the department will take their time to find the best way to maximize the funding provided by donations and those who took part in the fundraiser.
He thanked Jerry and Sally Weekes, Platte Valley Livestock, Pioneer Crossing, Russ Hopkins, Laura Essay and many others that organized the effort to bolster the department’s firefighting capabilities.