As of July 5 the Redlands Ladder Truck Fund Raising Committee had received pledges and donations totaling $53,385.01. With less than four months until the Fire Department expects delivery on a 2011 Pierce ladder truck, the committee has collected about 33 percent of the necessary matching funds.
Redlands Fire Explorers were out all day and late into the evening Monday as part of a “bucket brigade,” collecting donations during the community’s Fourth of July Celebration at Sylvan Park and the University of Redlands
“Special thanks go out to Bill McCalmon and the entire Fourth of July Committee,” said Fire Chief Jeff Frazier. “Without their willingness to allow us to collect donations, and overwhelming promotion of our cause, we would have had a much different outcome.”
The Fourth of July Committee helped to promote the fund raising efforts, including featuring the department’s 1975 ladder truck on this year’s event T-shirt and donating proceeds from the event to the ladder truck fund.
“The Fourth of July Committee has for decades functioned as a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing great celebrations to Redlands,” said Chief Frazier. “For them to share the limelight during this special community event is truly above and beyond the call.”
The Fire Department was notified in December by Congressman Jerry Lewis’ office of the $636,000 award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 2010 Assistance to Firefighter’s Grant. The grant will cover 80 percent of the purchase of a new ladder truck, with a 20 percent match from the city. The grant was among the highest awarded nationally and will allow the decommissioning of the 1975 aerial ladder that has served the city with distinction for 36 years.
Chief Frazier committed his department to raising the 20 percent matching fund requirement without impacting the City’s general fund budget.
The ladder truck’s primary function is to facilitate rescue and fire suppression operations in structures over two to three stories high. Redlands’ many historic Victorian homes and other buildings necessitate the demand for an aerial ladder because of the height of the structures, steep roof designs and significant setbacks.
The 1975 Crown Ladder Truck is one of two the department currently owns and is used as a reserve to a 1998 Seagrave Ladder Truck. Once the 36-year-old Crown is decommissioned, the Seagrave will be moved to reserve status.
“Redlands Fire has had four ladder trucks in the 123 years the Department has been Preserving the Past and Protecting the Future,” said Chief Frazier, noting that donations “will play a vital role in the safety of our community for many years to come.”
Additional scheduled fund raising events include Saturdays during August at the Frugal Frigate bookstore, 9 N. Sixth St., where firefighters will read to children. A percentage of proceeds on sales will be donated to the ladder truck fund. On Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be an Open House at Downtown Fire Station at Redlands Boulevard and Citrus Street. There is no charge to attend but donations will be accepted during the event. An Inaugural Redlands Firefighters Ball is also being planned at the Burrage Mansion on Oct. 22.
For more information on the Redlands Fire Department Ladder Truck Campaign visit: www.redlandsladdertruck.com <http://www.redlandsladdertruck.com/> , call 909-798-7692 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.