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MVFD seeks public’s help in modernizing gear

Facing the need to replace all 36 of its air packs over the next year or two at a cost of $250,000, the Mathews Volunteer Fire Department has been looking for grants, but has so far turned up empty-handed.

Now, the department hopes local residents will help come up with some of the money needed during the annual fund drive that began in October.

In a letter to county residents, MVFD president Calvin Morgan said that providing emergency services “requires an immense investment in extremely expensive equipment” and that the equipment has to be replaced periodically.

The National Fire Protection Association determines replacement intervals, he said, and MVFD is now in the third year of “a vigorous modernization program” to comply with requirements.

In addition to the air packs, said Morgan, the department needs to start a replacement schedule to replace three engines that turned 20 this year. The last engine purchased, he said, cost $260,000. Not only that, but...

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