Structural fire gear is heavy. The coats, boots, pants and helmets all weigh down a fireman, not to mention the added weight of an air pack. At Humeston Fire Department, Fire Chief Greg Watsabaugh knew he wanted to order lighter gear for his volunteer firefighters.
Iowa Select Farms is proud to help the Humeston Fire Department purchase new fire gear with a $15,000 Community Care Grant. “We were able to combine the grant with a second grant we received and purchase 17 brand new sets,” Watsabaugh says. “The gear expires every ten years, whether you wore it or not. So we ordered a total number of 19 sets of new boots, coats, helmets and carbon fiber hoods. We really thank you for the grant.”
The back wall of the garage is decorated with memorabilia. An original Humeston Fire Department helmet was found in the school house and hangs alongside the American Flag. Another helmet hangs on the wall, the top melted from a training fire incident. To the right of the helmets and pictures, an old, rusted car door reads “Humeston Fire Department.” This door was once attached to an old fire truck then found in a field and donated by a community member.
It is obvious Watsabaugh spends a lot of time at the fire department, making sure everything is up to date and organized. One of his proudest pieces of machinery is the Humeston Rescue Truck, a converted rider-rental truck. Inside, almost every piece of rescue equipment can be found including equipment for grain rescues. “A member of the community was able to replace the sliding door in the back with a semi-style door. This door ensures an air-tight lock so less dust gets in or on the equipment.”
“We have to be well equipped,” says Humeston First Responder Co-President Butch Gibbs. “There is a chance we may never have to use some of this, but if we need to use it once, then it is worth it.”