Pokagon Volunteer Fire Department awarded grant for new equipment

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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DOWAGIAC — The Pokagon Volunteer Fire Department was recently awarded a grant from the Pokagon Fund to purchase a new gear dryer for the department.

Gear dryers are designed to dry gear quickly and get firefighters back into action fast.

“After our gear has been exposed to heat or smoke per NFPA our gear must be washed,” wrote the PVFD in a statement. “Before we had this gear dryer, our gear had to hang dry and took days to dry. Each firefighter only has one set of gear so while the gear was drying they were out of service. This gear dryer will have a full set of gear fully dried in three to four hours.

“Gear is washed because of harmful contaminants that accumulate on the gear such as soot chemicals and smoke which all can pose a significant health risk to firefighters washing gear removes any trapped particles. Cancer for firefighters has been on the rise over the past years and this will help reduce the risk of cancer in our firefighters.”

Founded in 2007, The Pokagon Fund is a nonprofit private foundation supported by revenue from The Four Winds Casinos, which are owned and operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.

According to its website, the fund’s mission is to enhance the lives of the residents of southwest Michigan through the financial support of initiatives in education, poverty reduction and community vitality.