GoFundMe Page set up to help Mentone fire department
November 21, 2016
Southern Torch (3738 articles)
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GoFundMe Page set up to help Mentone fire department

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

tyler@southerntorch.com

MENTONE, Ala. Since November 9, local firefighters have been working non-stop to contain multiple blazes on Lookout Mountain. Much of this battle is being waged by the North Lookout Mountain Fire Protection District (NLMFPD).

What many do not realize, is that the NLMFP and other departments assisting are all volunteer organizations. This meaning that funds for equipment and other operating costs are generated only by fundraising events held in the community.

Unusually dry conditions have contributed to hundreds of wildfires around the state since late this summer. The lack of rainfall has made DeKalb County ground zero for these fires. DeKalb and surrounding counties are currently classified as, “Exceptional Drought” by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

The most recent fire is the fifth on Lookout Mountain in the last week, not to mention the earlier fire at Little River Canyon, which claimed more than 300 acres of the National Preserve.

Now, the bills are starting to come in for the department, and a “GoFundMe” page has been established to help them raise the funds necessary to pay the cost incurred by fighting the wildfires.

The fuel bill alone for the small department will be extremely high, not to mention maintenance on the trucks that will be necessary after such hard use, and replacement equipment.

“Due to the rough mountainous terrain and hazardous night time firefighting conditions, some of the NLMFPD’s smaller equipment was lost down the side of the mountain and needs to be replaced,” according to the gofundme page.

“These volunteer firefighters have sacrificed so much for their community.  They have worked around the clock, taken time off from work without pay, used vacation days they had been saving, taken time away from their families, gone with little to no sleep, missed meals, stood in the freezing cold, and risked life and limb for their community,” the page reads.

“To-date, not a single structure has been lost along the five-plus mile radius on top of Lookout Mountain. This in and of itself is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of these firefighters,” it read.

“GoFundMe” is an online crowd sourcing website that allows individuals to easily set up a fundraising page. Individuals from not only the community, but from all over the country can view the page and choose to donate.

The set goal of the page is $100,000 and contributions so far have reached $900. Click here if you would like to donate.

The page also lists a local address to send contributions if individuals do not want to contribute via the GoFundMe page:

North Lookout Mountain Fire Protection District (may be abbreviated as NLMFPD)

P.O. Box 154

Mentone, AL 35984.

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