FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Harriet Mills, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410.673.1240 ext. 108
Preston, Maryland – July 7, 2020, The pandemic has disrupted communities across the United States in many ways. Volunteer Fire Departments, for example, rely heavily on annual fundraisers, but because of COVID-19, they have not been able to hold their events.
Choptank Transport, a local third-party logistics provider, and one of the largest businesses in Caroline County donated a thousand dollars to each of five area fire departments, including Preston, Easton, Cambridge, Trappe, and Denton.
Chris Hash, Treasurer, at Easton’s Volunteer Fire Department said the losses of revenue from their annual fundraising events are significant. On July 10, for the first time in three and a half months, they will host a bingo night. “That is about $15K of lost revenue for the Fire Department,” said Hash. “Our September golf tournament is in question too along with our October 3 beer festival. If you add those up, we will be missing out on about $55K this year.”
The Cambridge Rescue Fire Company also relies heavily on its seafood festival every summer. This year, they have had to cancel it. According to the fire company, it is the largest event of the year, bringing in funds of between $15K and $20K.
“Fundraisers are the lifeblood that helps keep fire departments operational,” said Choptank Transport President & CEO Geoff Turner. “This critical revenue stream has been compromised since the beginning of the pandemic. Fundraisers provide updated equipment, daily operational costs, supplies, and maintenance—without them, these essential services will suffer. We felt compelled to make these donations.”
Today’s fire departments do much more than just put out fires. According to an article in Finance, “One of the most significant and widely recognized changes in the fire and rescue service is that on average, most calls to fires departments now are for medical emergencies and not fires, running about 80 percent EMS to 20 percent fire.”
U.S. News and World Report states that the cancellation of fundraisers poses a significant threat to fire departments, and according to local accounts, it seems to be the case in our community as well.