Lehigh Co. fire company faces new challenges battling blazes and raising funds during pandemic

Written by on April 28, 2020

 Lehigh Co. fire company faces new challenges battling blazes and raising funds during pandemic

By Haley O’Brien

April 28, 2020

Many Lehigh Valley first responders are finding new ways to stay safe and keep working through the pandemic.

WLVR’s Haley O’Brien visit a Lehigh County fire company to learn more. 

“Once you become a firefighter, it’s kind of an addiction. I enjoy helping people,” said Lower Milford volunteer firefighter Brian Mckee. 

Mckee doesn’t hesitate to respond to fire calls even if he’s putting himself in more danger than usual.

The firefighters are wearing extra protection, following CDC guidelines, and no longer hanging out at the firehouse. 

Fire Chief Richard Defiore Jr. says fire calls have gone down more than 30%, and with many people laid off, more volunteers have been responding. 

But he says they had to cancel some of their largest fundraising events of the year. 

“Fundraising has taken a drastic fall here at the fire company. However, the funds we do have thanks to the fire tax and the fund drive should keep us 100% operable, just limited,” says Defiore.

The company is also taking donations for its annual fund drive to supplement the township funding. But many fire companies only rely on fundraising. 

The state fire commissioner is directing fire companies in need of emergency funding to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Watch Haley’s PBS39 News Tonight Report.


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