DEWITT, Iowa (KWQC) – For over 11 years of serving the community in this way, the DeWitt, Iowa Volunteer Fire Department is hosting three grilling fundraisers this summer with the aim of funding equipment purchases needed to maintain safety and protection.

“Well, about 11 years ago, the grocery store across the street used to do a brat and hotdog stand, but when it changed ownership, that actually quit, so we decided to try to do something on our own, and low and behold, here we are,” DeWitt Volunteer Fire Department – 2nd Assistant Chief, Bryan Herington, said.

Happening on the last Wednesday of June, July and August (June 26, July 31, and August 28), the menu includes: ribeye sandwich meal- $10, ribeye sandwich only – $8, pork chop sandwich meal – $7, and pork chop sandwich only – $5.

Dine-in/carryout options are available at the DeWitt Fire Station (711 10th St.) and delivery options are also available with a minimum order of 5 meals.

“We do not get paid for going on calls, we do not get paid for doing things like these lunches. This is all volunteer work, ” Herington said. “We are very fortunate to live in a community where businesses and the community support us and allow those people to leave work to help friends, neighbors, relatives, and visitors through our community,”

If the food does not win you over, a $1,000 travel voucher for a vacation getaway may. Raffle tickets for $10 are available for purchase, and the winning ticket will be drawn at the August grilling fundraiser date (ticket sales are limited to 250; you do not need to be present to win).

The department is a full-service, all-volunteer department (no paid positions) with 27 firefighters who have all gone through firefighter certification requiring 160 hours of class time, 40 hours of hands-on training, and the passing of several practical and hazmat exams. Many members have additional certifications as well.

It is the monetary responsibility of the DeWitt Volunteer Fire Department to build and outfit themselves with the proper props, tools, and equipment for all emergency situations.

The funding of new equipment is imperative to their day-to-day operation, as it costs approximately $6,700 to outfit one firefighter with basic personal protective equipment.

“Our department, our guys, do a good job of maintaining that equipment, but over the years, just like with everything else, costs continue to go up, there is always advancements in technology, so we’re trying to take advantage of that and still be budget conscious with how we spend those dollars, and get the biggest bang for our buck,” Herington said.

The department responded to 148 calls in 2021 and 131 calls in 2022, which does not include any E.M.S. calls. Many of those calls occur in the middle of the night.

All members of the DeWitt Volunteer Fire Department enjoy serving and supporting DeWitt and its surrounding rural communities.

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