Georgia-Pacific is hoping to make local firefighters’ jobs safer and more efficient by helping them gain access to new equipment and life-saving training. Recently the local building products manufacturer donated $18,000 to the fire departments in Lufkin and Diboll.
According to Diboll Volunteer Fire Chief Gary Jones, the funding is critical to its organization. “Each year the Diboll Volunteer Fire Department responds to more than 100 fires within the area—and that doesn’t include the number of times the volunteer firefighters assist local law enforcement officials with motor vehicle accidents,” said Jones. “With the large amount of calls—whether they are fire-related or assisting fellow emergency responders in other areas—we are challenged each year to fund our operations. Two-thirds of the nation’s firefighters are volunteers; therefore, organizations like the Diboll Volunteer Department don’t have access to government funding.”
Georgia-Pacific is a continuous supporter of the Diboll Volunteer Fire Department. This year the company donated $10,000 to the organization. “The local fire department is tasked with a tremendous job. The volunteer firefighters’ efforts are critical in keeping our community safe,” said David Thelen, Georgia-Pacific Particleboard Plant Manager. “As a company with three major facilities and close to 300 employees in Diboll, we appreciate the firefighters who risk their lives every day to protect people, property and pets.”
Operating from five emergency stations throughout the city, The Lufkin Fire Department answers approximately 13,000 calls each year. It is a full-service operation offering fire suppression rescue, emergency medical services with paramedics and ambulances, a hazardous materials team and fire inspections. This year Georgia-Pacific is donating $8,000 to the Lufkin Fire Department which will fund new equipment and protective gear.
“Georgia-Pacific has long supported our efforts and we couldn’t be more appreciative,” said Ted Lovett, Lufkin Fire Chief. “Although we are an entity of the city, we are a comprehensive fire department that is continually looking for ways to enhance our services, whether it’s through expansion or ongoing training for our employees. Area businesses, like Georgia-Pacific, are helping to make some of these initiatives possible through additional funding.”
“The Lufkin Fire Department has a long-standing history for providing the highest level of professional service,” said Georgia-Pacific Chemical Plant Manager Rick Robbins. “We are privileged to have such an innovative and aggressive group of men and women on the front lines protecting our homes and businesses. We are proud to continue our strong partnership with the city and its firefighters.”
Since 2006, Georgia-Pacific has contributed more than $2 million to fire departments across the nation to purchase protective clothing and replace damaged safety gear and aging equipment.
- Ezra McMullin is a content and social media producer at MSGPR and attends Angelina College. He unwinds after a long day by playing XBox, telling himself he'll just play one more level before bed.