The Elmira Heights Fire Department has brainstormed some creative ideas to raise money for a new emergency vehicle. YNN's Katie Husband tells us how they've been raising money the last few months and a new fundraiser meant to test your physical ability.
ELMIRA HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- The Elmira Heights Fire Department has been in need of a new emergency vehicle for some time.
"The firefighters over the last couple of years have been out raising funds to replace the chassis on this current rescue vehicle," said Jim Locker, Elmira Heights Fire Chief.
The chassis is the heavy equipment truck that carries extrication tools, breathing air for the firefighters, hazmat and much more. A vehicle like this costs the department roughly $85,000.
"Last week they approached the village board and told them they were willing to make an $85,000 donation in buying the chassis for the vehicle if the village board would be willing to work with us and contribute $35,000 to convert the body over to the new chassis," said Locker.
Now that the new chassis is in reach for the department, the money from the reserve fund needs to be replaced.
"So we're going to do a few other fundraisers to put some fund balance back in to that in case we need to buy a defibrillator, oxygen equipment, medical equipment, back boards and so forth. All that EMS equipment and education comes from that fund which is solely funded by donations and fundraisers," said Locker.
Between the help from the community and working with the village, the Elmira Heights Volunteer Fire Department continues to restore the fund balance with the Empties for EMS bottle drive and the upcoming Zumba-thon.
"The community really supports us. A young lady by the name of Alexis Barge, who's a physical fitness instructor, grew up in the area, she approached us and wanted to help us in any way she could, so she came up with the idea of having a Zumba party," said Locker.
"There's a trailer out in our parking lot. People can just drive up and drop their bottles in there and we take care of them every day. There are guys here every day taking care of these things and it's been a tremendous success. More than we thought it would be. I think to date right now we've made about $16,000," said Walt Caparula, a volunteer firefighter.
And with that kind of support, the department should continue to protect their community.
The Zumba-thon is being held next Saturday at the Thomas A. Edison High School on College Avenue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.