The Valle-Wood Volunteer Fire Department raised more than $2,300 during two special screenings of a large-format wildfire film at IMAX Theater last month.
The fund-raising opportunity was welcomed with open arms by the fire department, but more donations are needed for the volunteers to reach their goal of $6,247. If that target 10-percent match number can be reached, the department will qualify for a $62,479 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Fire Administration.
"We feel we probably need $2,000 to $2,500 more," said Larry Doering, VWVFD fire chief. "We have nothing more planned for this winter; we’ll see what comes up. Right now, we’re going to be out looking for donations."
The film "Wildfire: Feel the Heat" showed on the evenings of Dec. 15-16 at IMAX Theater in Tusayan. The show brought in 130 people on the Sunday night and 150 more on the Monday night. Besides admission, money was raised through concessions and raffle ticket sales.
"I’d really like to thank IMAX and Loui Coleman and the crew, the Grand Canyon News and Brad Fuqua and the crew, and Brian Cisielski at KSGC with his ad," Doering said. "I also want to thank everybody who helped by donating items or buying tickets."
Doering said the department hopes to move things along quickly so the grant can be received and new equipment purchased.
The grant money must be used to purchase specific items, including equipment such as turnouts, helmets, boots and self-contained breathing apparatus, commonly called SCBAs by firefighters.
The department also plans to purchase a new pair of hydraulic spreaders, also known as the "jaws of life," which are used to extract car-accident victims.
The fire department averages 45 calls per year with an average of 26 of those being motor-vehicle accidents. Calls were below average for 2002.
The department’s service area includes 15 miles north and 15 miles south of Valle on State Route 64 and 20 miles along U.S. 180 southeast of Valle.
For those who can help the group with a donation, send it to: Valle-Wood Fire Department Inc., HCR 34 Box 22, Valle/Williams, AZ 86046.
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