A “thank-you” message to the community for its continued support was announced by the Lake Delta Volunteer Fire Department, including for the continued success of the department’s annual fund drive even during the COVID-19 situation.
The 2020 fund drive that was conducted by mail and began last spring was “the best ever” for the department, “reaching approximately 43% of our annual budget,” the announcement said. The department, located at 8508 Elmer Hill Road, has just completed its 78th year of service.
“Even with everyone dealing with all the COVID-19 aspects...our neighbors within our community have graciously and sincerely stepped up during 2020...,” said the announcement by department volunteers along with department President Edward Davis and Fire Chief Larry Tamburrino.
“Your Lake Delta fire department volunteer members cannot thank you all enough for your kind, thoughtful and generous support. Your past and present donations, whether it be a general or fund drive donation or even participating in one of our department’s fundraisers...always is put to the needed use to maintain and build on our physical assets, member protective safety gear...as well as provide for the department’s required annual operational expense,” Tamburrino added.
For the department, which operates independently, its only guaranteed projected income is through its contracts with the Town of Lee Board of Fire Commissioners and the Western Town Board for about 38% of its annual budget, the announcement noted. The City of Rome provides for the department’s workers compensation insurance coverage, the announcement added. The department serves residents and businesses within northern Rome, the southwestern portion of the Town of Western and the southeastern portion of the Town of Lee. It responded to 387 “911” calls during 2020.
The department does not receive direct tax revenue, and depends on its municipal contracts “as well as...our community in providing the annual fiscal support so that we can remain in place and be able to provide the emergency care and support we have for so many years,” the announcement said. It further said “through your noted help and generosity” the department “is now debt-free and actively trying to save for another firefighting vehicle to improve our support and service accordingly as we have always strived to do....”
In dealing with COVID-19 impacts, the department has followed state and federal guidelines within its firehouse and in responding to emergency calls, the announcement said. Its training, work details and meetings have been “modified accordingly within safe and precautionary modes to the best that can be accomplished and yet ‘be there and ready’ to serve our community....”
COVID-19 additionally affected the department’s planned fundraising events in 2020. They were either modified, such as having drive-through instead of eat-in dining events, or canceled thus “impacting department income,” the announcement observed.
It said the most difficult cancellation was the “Breakfast with Santa” event. It did note “Santa was at least able to be seen through our department Santa riding on one of our fire engines throughout our contracted areas to bring some smiles and joy within the season.”
In 2021, “based on maintaining appropriate health precautions accordingly, fundraising events will be at least planned for and only carried out if possible,” the announcement said. Its 2021 annual fund drive by mail will again kick off in late spring.