You Can Help Our Volunteer First Responders Get the Job Done

Fire Chief’s Association seeking car donations for fire training programs

BY MICHAEL RICONDA

Volunteer firefighters like Alexandra T. Wren, daughter of Fire and Emergency Service Director Gordon Wren, Jr., rely on an intensive training program to learn their duties. Rockland's all-volunteer force currently is in need of more cars to conduct their training exercises
Volunteer firefighters like Alexandra T. Wren, daughter of Fire and Emergency Service Director Gordon Wren, Jr., rely on an intensive training program to learn their duties. Rockland’s all-volunteer force currently is in need of more cars to conduct their training exercises

POMONA – The Rockland County Fire Chiefs Association is no stranger to assisting others, but now it is asking for donations to help them train first responders for that same task of assisting those in need.

The Association is conducting outreach for its ongoing fundraiser to get used cars for use at the Rockland County Fire Training Center. The program, a long-term support measure for Rockland’s firefighters, stretches back about 13 years.

“The donated vehicles are absolutely needed and appreciated by us because we need so many during the average year,” Rockkland Fire & Emergency Director Gordon Wren said. “It is truly a win-win program for the volunteer firefighters, the Chief’s Assn, the FTC, the residents and the car company.”

County residents donate the cars through a contractor, who delivers the car to the Training Center. There, the cars are used for training with the jaws of life or for controlled car fires before they are scrapped and sold. Funds from the sale of scrap are used to finance the Association’s scholarship program and other programs and seminars.

Gordon Wren, Jr., director of Fire and Emergency Services
Gordon Wren, Jr., director of Fire and Emergency Services

According to Fire Association President Harold Straut, the pace of donations can be irregular but occurs at an average of three or four per month. He added the Fire Training Center is now low on cars due to a large training exercise which took place last May.

“A lot of it depends on the economy,” Straut said. “People are holding onto their cars longer.”

No official job. Just a regular volunteer. I’m the first female driver in my company’s history, though. I got qualified in November with 3 other members. It was a big deal in our family lol

The fire fighters protecting Rockland have always been volunteers and many residents actually don’t know that. We don’t just volunteer our time and services to respond to emergencies; every department plays a huge role in hosting or promoting fundraising events that benefit the community. People don’t realize how vital volunteerism and charity is for everyone lucky enough to live here. Donating a car for this upcoming Fire Chiefs’ event doesn’t just help the association and the fire departments, it helps entire communities and especially those in need.

Donations can be made by calling the Fire Training Center at 845-517-0810