Saving money, saving lives: Auxiliary funds equipment for Filer Township Fire Department

The Filer Township Fire Department Auxiliary recently purchased a vital signs monitor for the fire department, which helps to check blood pressure, oxygen levels and pulse rate of the patient. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

The Filer Township Fire Department Auxiliary recently purchased a vital signs monitor for the fire department, which helps to check blood pressure, oxygen levels and the pulse rate of the patient. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

FILER TWP. — Working hard to protect the community, firefighters put forth long hours and risk their lives to save others, but that often requires assistance from the proper equipment.

As firefighting and emergency medical services equipment often comes at a high price, local auxiliaries help to reduce those costs through local fundraising and community outreach.

With that, the Filer Township Fire Department Auxiliary recently purchased new equipment for the Filer Township Fire Department, aiding with costs that would typically come out of the fire department’s budget through Filer Township.

The auxiliary nonprofit has been in existence for four years, formed to assist the fire department in various ways.

“It’s a tax exempt charity, and our purpose is to provide support to the fire department,” said Ron Gutowski, former fire chief and current training officer. “We do that financially. If there’s a structure fire, the auxiliary members would bring food and drinks to the scene.”

In 2016, the auxiliary purchased a $3,500 vital signs monitor, which was funded in part by a 2016 quarter paddle/Chinese auction and a $2,500 donation from Meijer in Manistee Township.

Within the past month the auxiliary also used funds to purchase 21 firefighter jackets, which provides more protection and are more durable. The jackets came to a cost of $180 apiece and are embroidered.

A new CPRmeter was also purchased through auxiliary funds at $650.

“We did not have anything like this machine before. The vital signs monitor helps to check blood pressure, oxygen levels and pulse rate of the patient,” said Janelle Ware, a first responder with the fire department and auxiliary member. “The CPRmeter will help us tremendously to make sure each and every one of our members are doing CPR the proper way.”

Last year, the auxiliary also bought items for the department like an ice machine, popcorn machine, coffee maker and hot dog cooker/bun warmer that are used frequently.

The auxiliary’s $6,000 gift card raffle also serves as a way to help generate funds, selling up to 600 raffles tickets to local residents. The auxiliary also receives various community sponsors for events.

“Last year, we gave away a $500 gift card every single month,” said Gutowski. “This year we are doing a $6,000 raffle again, but we are giving away five $100 winners every month. So we will have 60 winners instead of 12.”

The raffle starts on March 19, and will run through Feb. 18, 2019. Tickets can be purchased at any time until they are sold out. Winning tickets are also put back into the raffle again for future drawings.

For this raffle, gift cards are from Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop, Home Depot and Amazon.

“The gift cards we are giving away are accessible all over, not just in Michigan,” said Ware. “We also do a live drawing on our Facebook page, so people can watch at 7 p.m. on every third Monday of the month.”

Kathy Gutowski, trustee on the auxiliary board, said the auxiliary is searching for new ways to raise funds, and is always welcome to new members. Members meet at 6 p.m. on every third Monday of the month at the fire department.

“The cost of fuel for the trucks can be high; all of those expenses can be tough,” Kathy said. “Anything we can do to help off-set that and buy equipment is our goal. We really could not do this without the community support, as well.”

To learn more about the auxiliary or raffle, visit its Facebook page at Filer Township Fire Department Auxiliary.

avatar

Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

Leave a Reply