Dongola Fire Dept. buys new equipment with donations from Hero Fund

You helped us raise more than 5 thousand dollars for local first responders during our first-ever Hero Fund giving day earlier this year.
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 4:12 PM CST
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DONGOLA, Ill. (KFVS) - You helped us raise more than $5,000 for local first responders during our first-ever Hero Fund Giving Day earlier this year.

Now, we’re showing you how some of your dollars are being used.

At the Dongola Fire Department on Thursday, November 10, you could see the pure happiness of being able to buy some much-needed equipment, like boots, a thermal imaging camera and more.

“It was great, I mean, you know, when you see someone wanting to help you out it’s just a good feeling,” Patrick Ferguson, assistant fire chief of the Dongola Fire Department, said.

Dongola received an award of more than $4,000 through the Hero Fund, to be able to buy new equipment, including a thermal imaging camera and gas monitor.

Ferguson explained what their new gas monitor does.

“Measures oxygen level, for firefighter safety, also carbon monoxide, CO2 and two other gases,” he said.

He also explained how the department’s new thermal imaging gun works.

“It’s small and compact, a firefighter can actually put it in his pocket and take it into the fire and check where the hotspots and stuff are,” he continued.

Dongola’s all-volunteer Fire Department also received enough money to buy five new pars of gloves and boots.

“Funds is always the hard part to get ahold of in a rural area like this,” Ferguson said. “Our community is very good at fundraising but, you know, there’s never hardly enough money. But it just provided us with a way to have boots and stuff to provide our firefighters with safety and the gloves and stuff also just protecting their hands.”

We asked if he was shocked when he received the check. “Yes, yes, I was very happy,” Ferguson responded.

Ferguson said the entire team was just as happy as he was.

“I can’t describe how it was, but every time they get something new and it’s just a good feeling, I mean everybody just loved it,” he said.

Dongola is the latest department that the Hero Fund has helped. More department requests are currently working through the grant process.