Memorial Day BBQ helping local volunteer fire department get needed equipment to keep firefighters safe

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BLACKSBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A local fire department is on the road to getting some much needed equipment. The Blacksburg Volunteer Fire Department held a fundraiser Monday to help with the construction of their decontamination area.

Helmets, coats and boots covered in soot. It’s nothing new to Blacksburg Fire Chief Donovan Ford.

“Hand washing and we’re using brushes and basically water hoses. We scrub ourselves when we get back from a fire,” Blacksburg Volunteer Fire Chief, Donovan Ford said.

But he said they’re in need of an upgrade when it comes to cleaning up after a long day of work. They just got new washer and dryers but they have more in store, as part of the decontamination construction project.

“We can’t wash any turnout gear in here because it’s not an extractor,” said Chief Ford.

An extractor is what they’re looking for. It’s a machine used to clean away carcinogens without damaging gear. They’re also adding an eyewash station and a biohazard disposal area. But that doesn’t come cheap.

That’s where a Memorial Day barbecue comes in. They’re raising the money to buy just that, equipment that they told us, will go a long way with keeping firefighters safe.

“We’re exposed to a lot of carcinogens from fires, it’s just to keep everyone safe,” said Blacksburg Volunteer Firefighter, Matt Evans.

The brand new washer, dryer and water heater were donated by Lowe’s.

If you would like to donate towards this decontamination project, you can message the department on their Facebook page: Blacksburg Volunteer Fire Department.

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