It’s been a busy few months since our August update. Normal Fire and medical emergency response services continue during the pandemic, however special events remain canceled until further notice. As of November 17, NEBCO has responded to 798 fire and ambulance calls, continuing what will likely be record call volume in 2020.
We’d like to extend a special thanks to the staff for filling in for Chief Taylor while he recovered from a serious accident in September. Thankfully, Rob has now fully recovered and resumed his regular duties.
As promised, NEBCO now has 2 professional firefighters on duty at Station 1, Monday through Friday between 8am and 8pm. We took this step because over the last several years, we’ve experienced a decline in the number and availability of volunteer firefighters during daylight hours due to regular job commitments. Volunteers will remain the bedrock of our firefighting response, particularly at night and on weekends as well as daylight hours as available.
NEBCO is an integral part of Benton County emergency response and the county provides vital assistance to our operations. For example, the last several years, we’ve received a $100,000+ grant from the county to offset costs of operating our 2nd ambulance. Also, this fall, the county is paying to upgrade our radios and pagers at a cost of over $275,000. We are very grateful to Benton County for their continued support.
In August we told you about the need to replace our 36 “air packs” which are reaching end of life. Total cost to replace this essential firefighting equipment is $325,000 and we had applied for a FEMA grant to buy the new “air packs”. Unfortunately, FEMA notified us in late October that our grant was not approved. Thus, we will be adjusting our 2021/2022 budgets to buy this equipment with funds received from dues.
Finally, this year has brought unexpected challenges for everyone, NEBCO included. We’ve had to cancel all of our traditional fund raising events and now, must address a sizable unplanned expense. Fortunately, NEBCO has always enjoyed exceptional support from our members so any support to offset the “air pack” cost is deeply appreciated.`
Our next update will be in the first quarter of 2021. In the meantime, we wish you, your family, and friends a safe and enjoyable holiday season. You are always welcome to stop by Station 1, write or call with questions. The Board continues to meet monthly and you are welcome to attend any of those meetings. Information on upcoming Board meetings can be found under the Board of Directors tab on this website.
Your NEBCO staff and Board of Directors
NEBCO FIRE-EMS is now accepting donations through Pay Pal. Simply click on the link below. Remember all donations are tax deductible. We appreciate your support.
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