Santa Cruz Mountains, CA – Last May, this small community in the mountains between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz realized that if their volunteer fire department needed a new water tender to replace their old leaky one, the community would have to raise the money itself—neither the state nor the county could afford to buy one for them. Today they’ve reached the $100,000 mark, about 28% of their goal of $350,000 for the
Alex Leman, Captain, Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire & Rescue, said, “This community knows the risk inherent in severe drought conditions with high fire danger, and people understand the need for a new water tender, so I’m pleased that they’ve taken on this challenge. It might take a little while, but we’ll get a new water tender!”
Three years into a drought, fire danger is high and fires are tough to put out without an adequate water supply; many local water sources have dried up. In a rural mountainous, forested area like the Summit Ridge that separates Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, a water tender capable of carrying 3,000 gallons of water up and down the narrow mountain roads can provide the water needed to extinguish small fires before they become large fires and to keep large fires from spreading further. Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire and Rescue’s water tender is 23 years old—about twice its normal life expectancy—and as might be expected, it leaks and has been out of service undergoing lengthy and expensive repairs for much of the last few years.
The New Water Tender Coalition began their fundraising in May, targeting an average donation of $250 from each household in their fire service area to reach the goal of$350,000 for the new water tender. In addition, several fundraising events, including a Firemen’s BBQ, a plea to local businesses and service clubs, and some generous donors have proved Captain Leman right—this community will buy their own water tender!
For more information or to make a donation, go to LoveMeTender.info.
To learn more about this community, Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire and Rescue, and the LoveMeTender campaign, please contact:
Ellen Griffin, Chair, New Water Tender Coalition, 408-353-2002
Judy Stark, Member, New Water Tender Coalition email@example.com