2003-12-19 / Community

BCVFD Seeks Funds For New Firehouse

By Howard Schwach
BCVFD Seeks Funds For New Firehouse By Howard Schwach

The Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department records more than 600 runs each year.

Over a 98-year history, that makes for lots of fires that have been put out, rescues that have been made and medical cases that have been attended to.

The volies serve an island community that is isolated from the rest of the city by bridges and long stretches of vacant land.

To the north, the nearest city fire units are in Howard Beach. To the south, the nearest units are in Rockaway.

For that reason, the volies have become a vital link in the chain of community in Broad Channel.

Now, the volies are looking to the Broad Channel and Rockaway communities for a little life-saving help of their own.

"The firehouse that we presently use on Noel Road was built in the early 1900’s," says Ed O’Hare, the organization’s president. "It is literally falling apart, is beyond any state of repair and can no longer meet the demands of the community."

The volies have a plan to build a new, state-of-the-art firehouse on a piece of land on Cross Bay Boulevard, nearby the American Legion Hall.

The city recently gave the organization the go-ahead to build, but it is still short on funds to complete the project.

For that reason, the BCVFD has begun a building campaign to get those needed funds.

"The funds received in our annual fund drive and the small grants we get from local politicians are not sufficient to cover an expenditure of this magnitude," O’Hare says, adding that they have received a $200 thousand loan that has to be paid back.

Portions of the building have already been funded by donors.

For example, a building sponsorship was recently sold for $1,000 and the name board was sold for $1,500. In addition, an anonymous donor gave $5,000 to fund the roof alarm on the new building.

A small brick for the building costs $125, a larger brick, $250. The staircase can be funded for $2,500.

Other donations asked for by the volies include: Fire company room, $3,000; Ambulance company room. $3,000; Kitchen, $5,000; Meeting room, $5,000; Fire pole, $7,500; Flag pole, $7,500; Business office, $7.500; Chief’s Office, $10,000; Dispatch office, $10,000 and apparatus room, $30,000.

"Most people wouldn’t do what we do for a million dollars," O’Hare added. "We do it for free because we care about our communities and the people who live there."

The organization president adds that all of the donations are tax deductible and that "all contributors to the building campaign will have their donations prominently and permanently displayed at the new firehouse.

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