Editor, the Advocate:
The following letter was written to the Bloomington Volunteer Fire Department on Dec. 18, 2017:
Enclosed you will find a check in the amount of $5,000 from the Stroudsburg Fire Department, in Stroudsburg Penn., that is to be donated to the Bloomington Texas Volunteer Fire Department to aid in their Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. We cannot imagine what the Bloomington VFD went through during the hurricane and the devastation that occurred because of it.
The members of the Stroudsburg Fire Department, also a volunteer fire department, organized a boot drive back in September to raise money for hurricane relief. Being a volunteer fire department ourselves, we thought it only fitting that the money raised would go to a volunteer fire department in Texas that was affected by Hurricane Harvey. Lieutenant Michael Schroder, of Chemical Co. No. 1, organized the boot drive, and members assisted in raising the money. The boot drive was held in our busy downtown on a Saturday afternoon.
How we chose the Bloomington VFD was that one of our members has a niece, Tarra Robinson, and her family who lived in the Victoria area for some time, and with their help, we were able to select the Bloomington VFD as the recipient of our donation. We hope that they can use this money to replace items and equipment lost during the storm to help them continue to better serve their community.
Also included with this letter is our department patch and challenge coin. Here is just a brief note about who we are and what these enclosed items represent:
Our department is 100 percent volunteer, situated in northeastern Pennsylvania protecting the Borough of Stroudsburg and surrounding communities. The department is made up of two fire companies, Chemical Co. No. 1 and Phoenix Fire Engine and Hose Co. No. 2. We have 40 active members in the department and operate out of one station. Our fleet consists of three engines, a mini pumper, a rescue, a tractor-drawn 100-foot aerial ladder and a command vehicle. We also have on display in our station Phoenix Company's 1871 Clapp & Jones Steam fire engine and hose cart.
Again, we hope these funds will be of use to the Bloomington VFD in their recovery efforts and wish them the very best.
Michael Seip, Fire Chief, Stroudsburg Fire Department, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania