The NEBCO staff and volunteers would like to thank all of you for your continued support during these unusual times. Like everyone else, NEBCO has not escaped the impact of COVID-19. We’ve cancelled the annual meeting normally held in April as well as all of our traditional fund raising events like the Memorial Day breakfast and Music at the Firehouse. The Board has also decided to cancel the Labor Day Breakfast and fall Turkey Shoot. Fortunately, all of our staff remain healthy and continue to provide essential fire and emergency medical response to our members and thousands of visitors. We are particularly grateful to our EMS staff as they, like other healthcare providers, place themselves at risk but continue to faithfully serve our community.
Since we’ve cancelled all of our traditional face-to-face gatherings, we want to communicate a few items that may be of interest.
Thus far in 2020, NEBCO has responded to over 540 fire and ambulance calls. That is record call volume for this point in the year.
To improve our fire response, beginning in September, we will have 2 professional firefighters at Station 1 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days/week. We are taking this action because in recent 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.
It costs $2790 to outfit a firefighter with the necessary jacket, pants, gloves and boots needed to safely fight a fire. Per NFPA regulations, this “turnout” gear must be replaced every 10 years, even if it’s never used.
If “turnout” costs give you sticker shock, it’s time to replace the “air packs” worn by our firefighters. Per regulations, “air packs” must be re-placed after 15 years. Total cost to replace our 36 ‘air packs” is roughly $325,000 and we are hoping to receive a federal grant to fund the purchase of new “air packs”.
Finally, a few interesting facts. Did you know?
There are 29 volunteer firefighters, 2 full time and 26 part time paramedics/EMT’s committed to supporting our community 24/7, every day of the year.
The NEBCO fire district covers over 84 square miles including Garfield, Gateway and Lost Bridge Village as well as 81 miles of Beaver Lake shoreline.
The NEBCO EMS district covers 121 square miles, including Avoca, Garfield, Gateway, Lost Bridge Village and 17 square miles of Beaver Lake(39%). We provide mutual aid to Pea Ridge and Rogers plus an additional 15 square miles of Beaver Lake (for a total of 74% of the entire lake)
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 at https://www.nebcofireems.org/board-minutes
Your NEBCO staff and Board of Directors