Johnson Siding VFD uses anonymous donation to buy protective gear

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

The Johnson Siding Volunteer Fire Department in Pennington County received a generous anonymous donation.

The $30,000 donation will supply 15 firefighters with brand new turnout gear. Turnout gear is used to protect crews when they fight structure fires.

Each firefighter will receive a new coat, helmet, pair of pants, and set of boots. Turnout gear costs around $2,000 and typically lasts 8 to 10 years.

"It typically is a rule of thumb at minimum on a 10-year basis, it needs to be replaced,” said Todd Tobin, the public information officer with Johnson Siding VFD. “Most often it always has to be less than that. So it becomes a safety reason as the primary reason that you have to replace fire gear - what's called PPE. Protective equipment, that’s very important to the safety of the firefighters. And so, it's not anything of a luxury, it’s a necessity, and it’s an entire safety issue."   

Tobin says the department is extremely appreciative of the donation. The department will use money originally budgeted for the gear on other lifesaving equipment. 

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