Princeville firefighters get new gear


From Staff Reports

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Princeville Volunteer Fire Department will be outfitted with four sets of new turnout gear from Globe and DuPont Protection Solutions.

The companies have been working together with the National Volunteer Fire Council since 2012 to provide turonout gear to volunteer fire departments in need. Thirteen departments in the United States and Canada are receiving gear in 2017.

The Princeville Volunteer Fire Department in 2016 lost everything – including its fire station and all of the gear that it owned – after being hit by Hurricane Matthew, a Category 5 storm. The department currently is operating out of a tent behind the remains of the station, which will soon be demolished.

“The Princeville Volunteer Fire Department cannot fail the town,” Princeville Fire Chief James Powell said. “Despite losing everything, we must continue to operate and move forward. This gift of turnout gear will greatly enhance our recovery.”

Princeville responders performed more than 40 water rescues during the storm, and in the aftermath, the town was flooded by the Tar River.

The department’s 28 volunteers protect 12,000 residents in the town and surrounding county. While they were able to acquire 20 sets of gear, all are over 10 years old and noncompliant with National Fire Protection Association standards.

Before the disaster, the department was proactive in teaching fire prevention year-round in the schools, churches, day care centers and apartment complexes throughout the fire district.