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BUG Firefighters Inc., a 501C(3) non-profit organization, has exceeded their expectations for the purchase of a used utility pick-up truck for the department through a sponsorship / partnership program with local businesses. It is an “outside the box” approach to help reduce expenses for replacement equipment for the department. It is also a great promotional idea to show the people in our towns and surrounding areas that the fire department is active and working to promote the health and safety of our communities.
The Fire Chief and his group have been working on an advertisement program that would allow for advertisement space on a utility type vehicle for local businesses. The main message and purpose for the truck is a fundraising tool. This tool helps the Firefighters raise more money because businesses get something significant in return, and that’s advertising and public recognition.
BUG Firefighters have raised around $35,000.00 for this project. Included in this amount, is money obtained through a grant award received by BUG Firefighters in September, 2012. The truck will be used for quick emergency response, conducting fire inspections, going to training, educational purposes, fire prevention activities throughout the community, promoting the BUG Fire Department, picking up expended supplies such as foam and other things used up while fighting fires, etc.
This vehicle will also eliminate the use of one of the larger trucks to perform these types of duties and will eliminate mileage reimbursement currently budgeted for use of personal vehicles for such tasks. By selling advertising space on the vehicle it gives the Firefighters a way to raise money and use it to purchase firefighting equipment. The advertisement is good for three years and then must be renewed to remain on the vehicle. This idea has been enthusiastically received by the local businesses of our townships and surrounding areas. This also gives the business leaders an opportunity to show support for the BUG Fire Department. Rather than a thank you card or certificate of appreciation, BUG Firefighters are promoting and recognizing their names on the truck. It is a win-win situation.
The truck is fully equipped with lights, radio, siren, fire extinguishers, traffic cones and other misc emergency response equipment. All of which is paid by the sponsorships/donations and no tax budget money. As part of this fundraising project, $10,000 has been raised to replace a few sets of personal firefighting gear, and air bottles.