A New Hampshire company that makes gear for firefighters has announced it's giving away complete new sets to volunteer fire departments in other states.
Globe Manufacturing Company is headquartered in Pittsfield. It has a plant there that makes turnout gear, the heavy coats and pants that protect firefighters.
For the past five years, Globe has partnered with Dupont and the National Volunteer Fire Council to give away new sets of turnout gear to volunteer fire departments that apply.
Don Welch is Globe's president. He says he admires how hard volunteer firefighters work, with few resources.
“These people are just incredible,” he says, “They volunteer their time for the training they need to do. And in the event of an incident, a car accident, or of course a fire or natural disaster, they're out there.”
Earlier this week, the company announced it would be giving turnout gear to a volunteer fire department in Indiana and one in North Carolina.
The department in North Carolina, the Princeville Volunteer Fire Department, was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew last year. Firefighters were involved in rescues, then the town was flooded and the fire station became unusable. The 28 volunteer firefighters there are still operating partly out of a tent.
Princeville's fire chief, James Powell, heard about Globe’s program and applied.
"Every time we go out on calls and respond to emergencies, I look the men up and down, and I look at the gear they have on, and I always wish I could do something better than what we currently can right now," said Powell.
He says his firefighters have received used equipment in the past, but never new gear like this. When he got the news, he knew it would make a big impact on his firefighters.
In the coming months, Globe will send someone out to take measurements, and four of Powell's firefighters will get new coats and pants.
“This right here is going to be a big positive momentum that’s going to propel us forward with our morale. They’re gonna start physically seeing some tangible results and I think it’s going to motivate them to hang in there,” he said.
By the end of the year, 12 other volunteer fire departments around the country will have gotten the same award.