Ladies Auxiliary Raises $23,500 for Barnegat Light Volunteer Fire Co.

Nov 29, 2017

One night’s auction in May raised $23,500 for the Barnegat Light Volunteer Fire Co., and officers thanked the company’s Ladies Auxiliary this month for the donation.

The annual event is a tradition on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, the result of the auxiliary’s planning, local businesses and artists donating items, and a roomful of attendees raising their hands to bid.

Accepting the check from Auxiliary President Marie Stone were fire company Chief Keith Anderson and President Art Ballinger.

“We do it every year because that’s what we do; that’s why we’re here,” Stone said.

“On behalf of the fire company, thank you; you guys do a great job, and it does take a lot of coordination,” said Ballinger.

“This goes a long way to help the fire company run the facility, improve it and save lives and property, which is the utmost of what we do.”

Ballinger went on to say that firefighting equipment is “extremely expensive” and “other than the ‘big red truck,’ everything that equips it costs a fortune.”

The occasion then became a primer on some items that are used on every fire call, including a natural gas detection device that alone costs $11,000. The fire company gets a lot of calls for actual or suspected gas leaks.

Thermal imaging cameras cost $10,000 each, but are “invaluable in smoke-filled conditions,” Anderson said.

“You can see in smoke, you can see at night, and it detects differences in temperature,” he said.

The fire company recently purchased five new sets of turnout gear. Just the jacket and pants cost about $12,000, not including gloves, boots and helmets, officers noted as another example of expenses.

The next new truck will be bought in about four or five years and will cost about $400,000 for a vehicle that is not the highest-cost model but “what we need,” officers added.

The fire company gets about 100 calls a year, 75 percent of those in June, July and August. The company provides fire protection as well as water and ice rescue services to the residents of Barnegat Light, High Bar Harbor and the north end of Loveladies.  —M.S.


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