To the editor,

On behalf of the Cambridge Fire Relief Association, I would like to thank the community for the generous support of our 11th annual fundraising raffle held on Saturday, March 16, at the Armory. It was a great success made possible by the support of so many.

The fire department is grateful to the entire community for the outpouring of participation and generosity. Whether you purchased a raffle ticket before the event, donated items for the silent auction or came out for dinner and the prize drawings on Saturday night, we thank you.

The Cambridge Fire Department began planning back in October and have hundreds of volunteer hours into organizing and hosting this event. These volunteer hours are not spent to boost retirement accounts, they are spent to purchase tools and equipment that enhance the services we provide without adding to the budget.

The fire department fundraising efforts of the past have afforded us to purchase a trailer and equipment necessary for technical rescue. Technical rescue includes high- and low-angle rescue, confined space rescue, as well as space for mobile command for search and rescue operations.

The money raised also purchased a boat motor and trailer for water rescue and contributed $40,000 towards a new Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (air packs) for the fire department which reduced the taxpayer burden for the $165,000 needed purchase. 

Not to mention, when the fire department upgraded our ladder truck to a newer, used truck, $10,000 of fundraising dollars went to outfit the rig.

Although the tally is not in and the decisions are not final from this year’s event, the Relief Association is considering allocating funds raised towards new extrication equipment – “Jaws of Life” as some may know it. The money will also be used to reduce taxpayer burden to replace our 2003 quick-response vehicle.

I spoke with the city finance director the week prior to the event, and she suggested the generous support from our community, along with the volunteer hours of the fire department members raising these funds would be a great story to share, and so we are!

I personally applaud all the efforts of the many individuals and groups who contributed so much for this event, this year and in years past. As you can see, the mountains of work are well worth it, and the money is put to very good use buying and replacing vital equipment for our department. 

Will Pennings

Deputy Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director

City of Cambridge

 

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