Banks Volunteer FD requesting donations

Published 3:00 am Thursday, December 18, 2014

The holiday season is considered a time of giving and often a time when organizations make requests for donations.

The Banks Volunteer Fire Department is currently requesting donations to help offset some of its cost around the department.

The Banks Volunteer Fire Department responds to fires and automobile accidents within the Banks community, and in the 2014 calendar year the firefighters have responded to approximately 77 calls to date.

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The fire department operates solely on the tobacco taxes that are distributed to all volunteer fire department within the state. The amount of money the department received has immensely declined over the last few years, and the department is responsible for paying the mortgage on the fire station, utilities, insurance on all of the trucks, equipment training and much more. Jake DuBose, assistant fire chief with the Banks Volunteer Fire Department said donations would be greatly appreciated considering the decrease in money given to the fire department.

“We get a check once a month from the state for the tobacco tax, and the reason we are trying to get donations is that in recent years the money from the tobacco tax has decreased,” DuBose said. “People have quit smoking and while we’re greatful for that, we just aren’t getting as much money as we used to.”

Approximately 85 percent of the volunteers are certified by the Alabama Fire College and care deeply for everyone in the community.

“It means a lot because we are trying to provide and enhance the quality of fire protection in our coverage area, and the cost of equipment for the fire service is not cheap,” DuBose said. “We’re applying for grants. But a new truck would cost us somewhere around $260,000 for the truck. If you don’t have donations come in the tobacco tax is not enough to cover items we may need. One section of fire hoses costs $120. If you damage one section of hose, it’s $120. If we don’t have the money for it, we just don’t get it.”

The fire department is asking the citizens of Pike County, and particularly Banks citizens, to consider donating $25 or more this holiday season to help fund the Banks Volunteer Fire Department in order for them to better maintain their equipment and financial responsibilities. DuBose said the department was aware they were requesting donations during the holiday season, but wanted to reassure Pike County citizens that there was no deadline for donations and any amount of money would be appreciated.

Donations may be mailed to the Banks Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 6667, Banks, Ala., 36005.