Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT) and its Trusted Choice agents are donating more than $100,000 to the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association (SFFMA) to assist volunteer fire departments.
The money will go to a special fund created to purchase fire retardant clothing for volunteer firefighters who battle the numerous wildfires across the state.
Currently, 70 to 80 percent of the state’s fire service is covered by volunteer fire departments. Many departments can’t afford the lightweight protective clothing designed for fighting wildland fires.
“The timing of such a great donation is perfect as we continue to see numerous volunteer fire departments fighting wildland fires. IIAT’s donation will help many volunteer firefighters get much-needed equipment,” said Chris Barron, SFMMA’s executive director.
The lightweight, fire retardant, protective suits are provided by the Texas Forest Service. Volunteer fire departments from as far away as Lufkin have responded to the wildland fires of Central and West Texas this spring. According to SFFMA, eighty-six percent of volunteer firefighters spend their own money to buy firefighting equipment and supplies, including gas for the fire trucks.
“Like volunteer fire departments, Trusted Choice agents are at the forks of every creek in Texas. We have seen the courageous work volunteer firefighters do and we hope that our contribution will stimulate new public giving to help out these departments,” said David VanDelinder, IIAT’s executive director. “IIAT members are contributing additional funds through the Trusted Choice Foundation at IIAT,” he added.
Contributions eligible for tax deductions can be made to the Trusted Choice Foundation from the home page at www.iiat.org. All contributions go directly to the purchase of fire suits.
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