The Liverpool fire department is better prepared for the next disaster.
They’ve just received a $10,000 donation from the Liverpool Firefighter Ladies Auxiliary to equip their station with everything from cots, blankets and pillows to phone charging cords.
Auxiliary president Becky Munroe says the department quickly realized they were under-equipped when Hurricane Dorian hit in 2019.
“The region didn’t help us with anything or EMO didn’t help us with anything so we decided, well, we’re not going to be caught with nothing here,” said Munroe.
That’s when the Ladies Auxiliary stepped up to get the money to purchase the equipment the department determined it needed.
Because COVID-19 cancelled most of the auxiliary’s traditional fundraising events, the group had to move their efforts online.
“We couldn’t have bingo, we couldn’t have flea markets, we couldn’t do anything at the hall because you weren’t allowed,” said Munroe. “There was no way of raising funds for the fire department at all so we looked into this crowd-funding on Facebook and we decided that that’s what we’d go with.”
It was a pleasant surprise for the group when the totals from this new way of fundraising surpassed all their previous efforts. Munroe says the auxiliary has raised $10,000 since they moved online in June. She attributes the increase to meeting people where they are.
“I think the younger generation really don’t want to come out. They’d like to support but they’d like to do it on their iPhone or their iPad or their phone or whatever they’ve got. I don’t want to come to your function, but I’ll donate,” said Munroe.
Munroe says she and the members of the auxiliary felt it was important to buy equipment to assist the public during a disaster because the money came from the public so it should assist the public.
While the bingo and flea markets are back on, Munroe says they are going to continue crowd-funding on Facebook.
“Is just a lot of work. It’s on a computer a lot but it’s well worth it. I love the fire service,” said Munroe. “My son is the chief, my husband is a captain, my daughter is the vice-president of the auxiliary, my son-in-law is a firefighter in the department, my two grandchildren are in the junior fire department, it’s a family affair.”
And for Munroe, that makes the effort worthwhile.
Since 1968 the Ladies Auxiliary has raised approximately $250,000 for the Liverpool fire service.
Munroe says people don’t understand the costs involved with outfitting firefighters with the protective gear they need to serve the community. That’s why she and the other members of the auxiliary will continue working to raise money to equip the department with the tools they need.
Reported by Ed Halverson