[cifnmedia] FW: [Nvfc-members] NVFC Legislative Victory - House Passes Bill to Promote the Donation of Fire Equipment

  • From: "Randall W. Ruble" <randallruble@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Randall W. Ruble" <randallruble@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 17:55:52 -0500




From: nvfc-members-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:nvfc-members-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Craig Sharman
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 3:38 PM
To: nvfc-members@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Nvfc-members] NVFC Legislative Victory - House Passes Bill to
Promote the Donation of Fire Equipment


NVFC Legislative Victory - House Passes Bill to Promote the Donation of
Equipment to Volunteer Fire Departments

WASHINGTON, DC -- On September 14, the House of Representatives passed
legislation which would limit the liability of companies and fire
departments that donate surplus equipment to volunteer fire departments.
This legislation, H.R. 1787, the Good Samaritan Volunteer Firefighter
Assistance Act, was introduced last year Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE) and had
the bipartisan backing of 68 cosponsors. 

Well equipped fire departments have made it a tradition to give used
equipment to those departments that are less fortunate or in dire need,
said Stittleburg. However, in recent years, the fear of litigation if the
gear later turns out to be faulty has made these donors think twice about

Every year, quality fire equipment, including hoses, fire trucks, protective
clothing and breathing apparatus, with an estimated worth in the millions of
dollars, are destroyed or discarded instead of being donated to small fire
departments in order to avoid civil liability lawsuits. The fear of
litigation has forced heavy industry and wealthier fire departments to waste
surplus equipment, which in many cases has years of use still left in it. 

Many volunteer fire departments struggle financially to provide their
members with the equipment they need to protect their communities. In fact,
local taxpayers spend millions of dollars for operating expenses and for
purchasing replacement equipment for their volunteer fire companies. By
removing liability barriers that keep volunteer firefighters from receiving
completely safe equipment, it would not only save taxpayers millions of
dollars, it too would save perfectly good equipment. 

H.R. 1787 is modeled after state law that has been passed in Alabama,
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New
York, South Carolina and Texas. In fact, since this bill was signed into law
in Texas in 1997, donations in excess of $13 million worth of equipment for
volunteer fire departments has been distributed. 

Stittleburg added, It is unfortunate that the fire service of our country
is forced to search for serviceable used equipment to enable it to carry out
its vital mission. However, until the day dawns when society accepts its
role in providing proper support to those who protect them, legislation such
as this will be necessary. 

The NVFC is looking to advance this legislation through the Senate before
the 108th Congress ends later this year.

        Craig Sharman   
        Director of Government Relations        
        National Volunteer Fire Council
        1050 17th Street, NW, Suite 490                 
        Washington, DC 20036            
        (202) 887-5700 ext. 12 or 
        FAX (202) 887-5291      

         <http://www.nvfc.org/> http://www.nvfc.org

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