The Adel Fire Department has recently acquired a $10,000 grant from The Dallas County Foundation. This grant will be used for a new Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) for the Adel fire and rescue team.
With the help of the UTV, volunteer fire fighters and medics such as Justin Kitzinger will be able to access otherwise narrow and difficult paths that normal trucks or ambulances may not be able to reach.
“In the past we have had two rigs to fight grass fires. We are looking for something more versatile so that we can fight more than just grass fires,” Kitzinger said.
Kitzinger explained that the new vehicle can not only hold up to four fire fighters but can also be used for tight spots, such as the Raccoon River Vally Trail. The UTV will also have a stokes basket on the back so that the Adel fire and rescue team can effectively transport patients out of an area and get them to an ambulance if needed.
“The whole project is going to cost just under $40,000. So, we have been fundraising for the last two years and we’ve raised just about $20,000 on our own through business and individual donations,” Kitzinger said.
For smaller volunteer fire departments such as the one in Adel, raising funds for new equipment can be a challenge. This makes support from organizations such as the Dallas County Foundation that much more impactful.
“It means the world to us to have something like this available. It’s always a big push for us because like any other volunteer department in a small town, our operating budget is fairly small,” Kitzinger said.
With about $9,000 remaining for the purchase of the skid unit, the Adel Fire Department plans to continue hosting fundraisers throughout the year. One of these main events is the Dallas County Sheriff’s Car Show, where the Adel Fire Department will serve food. The annual show returns on Saturday, June 1 around the Dallas County Courthouse.
“We are the primary food vendor there, and that’s always a big fundraiser for us. When we want new equipment, we always try to fundraise outside of tax payer dollars and we are pretty proud that this $30,000 has been fundraised and not come from tax payer dollars. It’s always a big effort from everyone,” Kitzinger said.