Brothers and Sisters,
The schedule for the MDA boot drive in station visits has been sent out and will start on Tuesday the second of April. The drive will kick off on the 16th of May and collections will start on the 17th and end the 26th. One of the weekends for the drive will be a volunteer weekend for crews or individuals that had not or have not been able to participate. Times and locations are forthcoming on that issue. Kathleen Born and I had a meeting with Chief Pena and we have his complete and total support. He views this is as a department sponsored event and he expects total participation at all levels to make this a successful campaign. A block of one week has been “cleared out” for this campaign. Inspections, hydrants and other routine operations are to be delayed allowing this time to be devoted to the FTB campaign.
That being said, EPFD and MDA have a history of accomplishing great things to battle the large umbrella of illnesses as well as provide assistance to the families affected by these illnesses. In recent years we have been granted the opportunity to conduct the campaign while on duty in a more efficient and greater visible manner than ever before. Our ability to collect on duty and in uniform has made us the envy of many departments. Unfortunately, in recent years we have seen declining collections for our department for several reasons. Local 51 Executive Board has decided to revamp the department’s involvement in the campaign, namely our participation. Last year we collected a little over 53 thousand dollars, a huge decline from the usual 70 thousand we were averaging. We have set a new goal to meet this year. I am confident we can accomplish this goal and so much more. Our goal this year is 1OO thousand dollars. For a week campaign this should be a simple goal to achieve. MDA has dedicated their time and financial resources to help us be successful in this campaign and now it is our turn to return the favor to this great organization. For the top grossing battalion, MDA has bronzed a firefighter boot to be used as a traveling trophy! We are involving the chiefs to be active in the push to motivate and get companies out to collect. Battalions need to get out and work for it if they want to gain possession of the boot and accompanying bragging rights for the year. A “Challenge Coin” is being designed for the participants in the Battalion that collects the most. One last incentive to mention, Wing Daddy's Wings is in the process of sponsoring Monday Night Football Night for each station in the winning Battalion. I believe that this will entail 17 Monday nights during the NFL season.
Corner captains are in demand again! Those that volunteer for these positions will be rewarded with a “pre-kickoff dinner” for the Corner Captain and a guest. This dinner will allow them to discuss duties and meet and greet. They will also receive a FTB polo shirt and “Challenge Coin” for the extra effort. Kathleen Born and her assistant, Tracy, will be headed out to the in station training sessions. They will be educating the members regarding the importance of their participation, where the funds are distributed, and the details surrounding the incentives for the winning crews. With the full support of a new Fire Chief; now is the time to show the State of Texas that El Paso is here, strong, and willing to meet any goal thrown at us.
James A Younger