By Pam Teel
Fire Chief, Dan Archer, was recently the recipient of a $10,000 award from the Josh Cellars/ Gary Sinise Foundation that held a contest for all first responders. The “Josh Cellars Salutes First Responders” is a skill contest in which participants nominated a local first responder and their affiliated nonprofit organization, who are deserving of a grant from the Gary Sinise Foundation to further aid and support local heroes. Chief Dan was one of the nominees chosen for this award. First responders were nominated on the Josh Cellars facebook website. The top ten eligible responders were chosen and voters got to pick the winners on the facebook page. Chief Archer will use the award money toward the purchase of a much needed newer fire truck for the township.
Chief Archer has been a volunteer firefighter in Roosevelt since 2006, in which time there were only three active members. He was elected as Fire Chief after Hurricane Sandy. Over the years, he was instrumental in adding fifteen more volunteer members to his department. The chief has worked diligently improving the fire department and he is very proud of everyone he works with. He would personally like to thank them all for everything that they do!
The problem that the Chief and the other firefighters are facing in their township is that they are dealing with outdated equipment and outdated hand-me-down gear to fight fires. The only truck they have is a 1970 Mack CF-600 fire truck, which is costly for them to maintain. The town has been fundraising and applying for grants that will bring them closer to purchasing a newer truck in order to better serve their growing town and the surrounding communities. With an annual budget of just $18,000 and a hefty price tag of over $35,000 for just the truck alone, the township has been applying for grants to help with the costs of replacing their fire truck with a newer one and replacing their old turnout gear for newer gear. Recently, they were successful in getting a $5,000 grant from the Firefighters Support Foundation, which allowed them to purchase three new sets of turnout gear.
There are three more fundraising events planned during the next two months. There will be a pancake breakfast sometime in November, Santa Delivery in December, and a long-term 50/50 raffle that is going on now, with the winning ticket being drawn in December. If you would like to help out the firefighters in Roosevelt reach their dream of obtaining a new fire truck and gear you can send a donation to The Firehouse, P.O. Box 490, Roosevelt, NJ 08555. Visit their site at rooseveltvfc.org for more information.
The Gary Sinise Foundation was founded in 2011. They began by raising funds to build custom smart homes for America’s severely wounded war heroes. The foundation has grown to serve the nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need. They do this by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities. They also provide support to military and first responder’s families recovering from trauma and loss during times of urgent need. The Foundation also serves heroes with a program that provides classic American meals and they have teamed up with local playhouses and theatres to provide dinner and entertainment to local veterans free of charge.
Josh Cellars Winery is located in California. Joseph Carr, the owner of the winery, teamed up with the Gary Sinise Foundation to honor his father and other first responders. His father, also named Joseph, but better known to his friends as Josh, was a volunteer firefighter for many years. Joseph looked up to his father. His dad always prided himself on working hard for what he wanted and helping others in need. His dad put his life on the line every day fighting fires and helping to save people’s lives. “We have to take care of each other” was his simple commitment to his community. Joseph’s commitment is in helping to provide grant money to the first responders and their fire stations that are lacking in essential equipment necessary to save lives. The Roosevelt firehouse was one deserving of such a grant.
We as a community and surrounding communities can also live by Josh Carr’s statement about having to take care of each other. What better cause to donate to than people who might one day have to risk their lives to saves yours!
Please help Roosevelt reach their dreams and donate! For raffle tickets please contact Chief Archer at: email@example.com or on facebook at: www.facebook.com/rooseveltfire.