Los Gatos, Nov 24, 2014: The Loma Prieta Community Foundation (LPCF) today announced a $125,000 challenge grant from anonymous donors supporting the drive by the Water Tender Coalition, which includes LPCF, to purchase a new water tender for the Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire & Rescue. This extraordinary act of generosity underscores the importance donors put on fire safety in a small rural community where fire danger is a real and constant threat.
The Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire department needs a water tender to fight fires. A water tender is a fire engine that transports a lot of water, and Old Leaky 3651 is now over 22 years old and in serious trouble. A new one costs about $350,000 and there are no public funds available. Raising the money in time for next year’s fire season seemed a stretch until unnamed mountain donors generously stepped up with a $125k Challenge Grant.
Beginning Nov 15th, the donors will match every dollar raised by the Water Tender Coalition – up to $125,000. So, if we’re able to raise $125,000, we’re really at $250,000 – and with the $110k we’ve already raised, we will reach our goal and have a water tender in time for next year’s fire season.
The LPVFR volunteer fire department operates all over the Santa Cruz Mountains, in an area with no city water and few fire hydrants. “For the type of community we are in, carrying water with you is a must”, said Guy Denues, Volunteer Fire Captain, LPVFR. LPVFR trucks in most of the water they need to fight fires in their area. Fire engines carry water, which is used very fast when fighting a fire. And, when it’s gone, they have to get more. Water tenders help with that process, moving a lot more water around, and providing additional crew whose only job usually winds up being getting water to the scene. Without a tender our firefighter have to use engines to shuttle water, and that means it takes 4 or 6 trips to do what one trip with a water tender can do. Jaci Viskochil, Volunteer Fire Captain, added, “The service the water tender provides is that we can dump 2500 gallons of water into a holding tank and the other engines can pull from that while the water tender goes back to refill and bring more water to the fire.”
The challenge grant underscores the importance that the donors put on this endeavor. After talking to Captain Alex Leman, the donors made a comment that the water tender is an absolute necessity for our area. Captain Leman added – “While our primary attack zone is around the Summit Road / Hwy 17 area, our current water tender has worked fires all over the Central Coast – from Davenport to Mt. Hamilton, from Big Basin to Castle Rock. We train with other city and county fire departments and they quickly understand the value of a water tender in an area such as ours, where we don’t have the luxury of fire hydrants and city water.”The Water Tender Coalition is a group of volunteers who are concerned about the reliability of our community’s water tender and are working collaboratively to raise the money needed to purchase a new water tender. The Water Tender Coalition recognizes that this Challenge Grant is an amazing opportunity for a small community such as ours. It is a great example of a community banding together to raise money for a worthy cause.
In order to access these funds, the Water Tender Coalition is raising matching gifts on a dollar-for-dollar basis until Feb 28, 2015. Please help us meet this goal! Contribute today. Your donation of cash or stock istax deductible. Send it in before year-end!
Checks should be made out to LPCF and sent to 25050 Highland Way, Los Gatos, CA 95033. Please be sure to write “Water Tender Fund” in the memo field. You can also donate online at LoveMeTender.info
For more information about the Water Tender Coalition, FAQ’s about the challenge grant, information about the water tender and more, visit LoveMeTender.info.