Investing in Those Sacrificing to Protect Our Communities
Bremer County Community Foundation
December 1, 2016
The Tripoli Fire Department knows when it comes to saving lives, shortcuts cannot be taken. Long days of training, properly investing in equipment and knowing how to respond within seconds to any given situation is a must.
The Bremer County Community Foundation understands these requirements that keep a fire department running smoothly which is why they have awarded multiple grants to keep the Tripoli Fire Department up-to-date. Since 2012, the Tripoli Fire Department, and by extension the surrounding communities, has benefited from a total of $15,000 in grants from the BCCF.
“The first grant we got was for personal protective equipment. We have standards we have to follow and the equipment has a ten-year life span. We don’t want anybody getting hurt and we also need the gear to train properly,” said Tripoli Fire Chief Dan Burgart.
Training requires reliable equipment so it can resemble as close to a real-time emergency as possible. Burgart, now in his eighth year as chief, recalls a house fire that demonstrated the importance of training with up-to-date equipment, “We had a training day to teach some of the newer guys how to do a water relay and four days later we had a structure fire in town. I got to the scene and it was the spitting image of training, everything was up and running the way it was supposed to be.”
In 2016, the department received a $4,000 grant from the Community Foundation to assist with the purchase of a grain rescue auger, pistol grip nozzles and a new hose.
“We are a farming community. The grain rescue auger is something we should have in this agriculture community. You hope you never have to use it, but it’s good that it’s there,” said Burgart.
Another grant helped the department upgrade another piece of essential equipment. The jaws of life apparatus is an example of good equipment becoming outdated simply because the rest of the world continues to progress. Automobile companies have begun to use harder materials to create vehicles which the old cutters could not work through. The new cutters are a necessity to the fire department’s mission of keeping their community, as well as surrounding communities, safe.
“All the surrounding areas have a mutual aid agreement. Everybody can feel good knowing we have top quality equipment,” said Burgart.
As seen through the mutual aid agreement, a sense of community is highly valued. The majority of funding for the fire department comes through generous givers and local events. During the summer, the department earns extra funds by filling up pools. In addition, they hold an annual spaghetti dinner where Tripoli residents gather to rally behind their local heroes. According to Burgart, the grants give the department a needed financial boost.
Aid from the very people who benefit and rely on the fire department is exactly what the Community Foundation is all about. Donors who give to the Foundation are contributors to the grant process which benefits city organizations, like the Tripoli Fire Department, and local nonprofits. As the world continues to grow and develop, the Tripoli Fire Department will continue to stay up-to-date through community aid to keep their residents safe.