Helmets, and Boots, and Gloves – Oh My

We all count on the fact that when we need help, and we dial 9-1-1, help will indeed come. Here in the mountains, when the crisis is a fire or medical emergency, we listen for the sirens indicating that well-trained volunteers are on their way. When these volunteers are responding to a fire, it is absolutely critical that they have the proper equipment, not only to keep them safe, but also to enable them to fight efficiently and effectively.

Here at The Big Chili, our goal is to raise the funds necessary to waylay some of the costs of protecting and equipping our firefighters. No one wants our heroes in substandard equipment, so even the most basic protection, such as gloves, must be approved by the National Fire Protection Association. NFPA approved gloves can easily cost $50-$60, but are unquestionably necessary. Depending on the firefighting conditions, boots can cost $200-$500, and a helmet that is built to withstand the heat and offer the best protection can cost another $300. When one adds to these basics all the other necessary equipment carried by a firefighter, all weighing up to eighty pounds, one quickly sees that firefighting is no easy task, and fighting safely and effectively requires funding. The Big Chili Cook-Off is about the arts, it’s about patriotism, it’s about music and food and fun. But it’s also about this – raising funds for our excellent volunteer fire departments. We consider it our privilege and our pleasure.

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