MULBERRY (KFSM) — On November 6th, 2018, the volunteer fire department that services mulberry and protection district two lost their rural pumper engine. Now, to get a new one, they’re getting creative.
"We got to talking about it, and one of the guys says hey what about a GoFundMe page," explains fire chief Jeff Marvin.
All 30 members of the department are volunteers and part-time. Mayor Greg Baxter appreciates their work.
"We have some great volunteers, and when they get a call, they are there."
"We run about 325 calls a year, so almost a call a day for a volunteer fire department, that’s quite a few calls," says Marvin.
Much of their funding comes from grants, which they used to purchase a new pumper engine for the city of Mulberry. But in November, the pumper truck used to service the surrounding rural area in Crawford County failed inspection. As Marvin explains, the pumper is very necessary.
"The vehicle is critical, a pumper is your first line of response that goes out immediately on a structure fire, and it’s very dangerous not to have the coverage that you need."
The department tries some fundraisers, says Marvin.
"We do pancake breakfasts, we sell raffle tickets."
But is now looking to the community for more support, a move welcomed by the mayor.
"You know, everything we do in mulberry, we say it’s a team, it’s a team effort, whether its the fire department, police department, public works, administration, whatever, it’s all a team working together."
Despite the high cost, Marvin is optimistic.
"We want to go viral. If 250,000 people donated a dollar apiece, we would make our goal. I know that’s maybe pie in the sky, but that’s what we’re hoping for."
The original goal was to have the funds raised by the end of the year; they have now extended that to April. If you wish to donate, you can click here.