The Millville Volunteer Fire Company has launched a $2 million capital campaign to help fund an addition to its main firehouse in Millville and new apparatus, in order to serve the growing community in its service area.
Announced at the company’s Station No. 1 on Route 26 in Millville on Monday, July 19, the campaign will stretch over five years.
Doug Scott, chairman of the campaign, said on Tuesday, July 20, that the “Community Heroes Capital Campaign” will be separate from the company’s annual fire and EMS fund drives, which go toward those specific departments’ operating budgets.
“Because of the extensive recent growth to our community and the sharp increase in call volume,” Scott said, “we knew we had to do something to maintain and improve our ability to respond quickly to emergencies.”
The 5,000 square-foot addition will encompass sleeping quarters for the company’s new “live-in” program, which Scott said allows both volunteers and paid crews to sleep at the station. The new bunk area will also help facilitate maintaining in-station crews during severe weather.
“All of this adds to our capability to respond to emergencies quicker and more efficiently,” Scott said.
In addition, the building project will provide the company with more living and training space, for “current and future career duty personnel,” and for necessary emergency training classes, according to Scott. “Better and more appropriate living space” will make workflow more efficient and help attract much-needed volunteers to the department, he added.
The project also includes “significant renovations” to the 36-year-old building, Scott said. The fire station’s kitchen will receive upgrades “so that it will be more functional for fundraising events,” he said. A new fire sprinkler system will also be added.
In addition to the building project, the fire company is also looking to replace several pieces of equipment in the coming years. Industry standards for longevity of emergency fire apparatus call for replacement at 20 years, Scott said, citing “reliability concerns, maintenance costs and technology changes” as reasons for scheduled replacement of apparatus.
Because costs of such equipment continue to rise, Scott said, “reserve funds need to be set aside to plan for future purchases. The Millville Volunteer Fire Company expects to replace two major pieces of equipment soon. The company’s engine-tanker, which serves as a fire engine and carries large amounts of water to rural response areas, is scheduled for replacement in 2023, at an estimated cost of $850,000, Scott said.
Soon thereafter, one of the company’s frontline fire engines will also need replacing, at a cost of about $575,000, he said.
As an incentive to community members to donate to the campaign, the fire company has set up six levels of giving whose donors will be listed on a plaque in the fire station foyer, starting at “Firefighter’s Heroes” at $350, and up to “Fire Chief’s Heroes” donors at $20,000 and above.
Donors who wish to contribute to a specific area will have the opportunity to have their names on a plaque in the area to which they donate, Scott said. There are 12 areas for these large donations, ranging from $30,000 to $100,000. However, Scott stressed that “all pledges are greatly appreciated.”
For more information on the capital campaign, Douglas Scott can be reached at the firehouse at (302) 539-9535. The fire company’s website is at www.millville84.com.