CELORON, NY (WNY News Now) – During a routine inspection of their equipment, the Celoron Fire Department has discovered that some of their gear has expired, or can’t simply be upgraded. Instead of discarding it however, first responders have decided to give it to those in need.
Equipment like hoses and air packs that the department can no longer use, but are still in good working order, will soon find a new life helping those 3,000 miles away in South America. Closer to home, some of the gear will be completely repurposed, and made into toys and beds for primates.
“So those hoses that we tested recently, we found that they were expired and out of date so it’s kind of unsafe for us to use it so we’re going to be purchasing new amounts of hoses and we’ll be donating a lot of the new hoses to the Erie Zoo,” explained Jordan Smith, a firefighter for the department, “A lot of our older air packs are going down to South America to be used, so that’s always a good thing.”
This isn’t a new concept for those in Celoron, in fact, the department tries its best to avoid throwing old equipment away.
“We try to avoid just throwing it away of course because somebody can use it somewhere,” said Smith.
“There’s a lot of stuff that we’ll hand over to different fire departments that don’t have as much of a membership or as much of a fundraising that we do. So, just trying to help out everybody in the community and make sure everybody’s safer,” Smith said.
To be able to afford new equipment, the department is hosting two fundraisers in the upcoming month.
“100 percent of the proceeds are going towards our equipment, our training, helping just to vamp what we have now,” explained Smith.
Because the firefighting agency is made up entirely of volunteers, it is difficult to find new members.
“We are volunteer 100 percent. Everybody is donating their time, we have about 25 active members at the moment but there’s always a struggle. Everybody is working during the day or working during the night, there’s always family stuff going on, so it’s very hard to get new members,”
The reason for volunteering is an easy answer for Smith.
“There’s no better feeling. I mean yes, it’s hard hours, difficult, but it’s so rewarding. There’s no better feeling than being able to help somebody out and go home at the end of the day knowing you did something important for your community,” Smith said.
The department is hosting a chicken barbeque to help raise funds for new gear. It will take place Sunday, September 4th starting at 11 a.m. They are also planning a boot drive the following Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.