Abiquiu Fire On The Scene
Republished here with permission of the Abiquiu News (www.AbiquiuNews.com).
Fire-fighting is an expensive business. Want to talk sticker shock? A complete set of protective clothing for one fire fighter costs $2800. One self-contained breathing apparatus for a fire fighter is $5500 and we have to carry four on each truck with a reserve air tank for each ($980 per tank). As for the trucks themselves, even a small truck for brush and wildland fires may cost $150,000, while new engines or tenders will move you closer to a quarter of a million dollars, and you don’t even want to know about fuel costs.
The public monies dispensed to volunteer departments are barely adequate for basic maintenance of vehicles and equipment. In recent years the department’s annual budget has hovered around $60,000–and that’s for everything from oil changes to flashlight batteries. Little is left over for upgrades, improvements and replacements so resources have to be stretched. Would you believe that one of our trucks is 28 years old?
The Abiquiu Volunteer Fire Department is lucky to benefit from the energy and generosity of several good friends who work to raise funds to supplement the budget of the department. Over the years the Abiquiu Area Emergency Services Projects (AAESP) has helped to fund projects ranging from a new fire station to replacement fire boots for volunteers. The fire department and the larger community owe the AAESP and its many donors a huge debt of gratitude. So here’s a shout out to the AAESP board: Donald Banks, Fernando Bayardo, Sam Jewell, Alphonso Martinez, Louie Martinez, Paula Narbutovskih, and John Nelson. Thanks. We couldn’t do what we do without you.
Mark your calendars. The Abiquiu Volunteer Fire Department and the Abiquiu Area Emergency Service Project’s Community Picnic is Sept. 19, 1-5 P.M.