November 20, 2017

Dear Plainfield Friends,

Year after year, your support of the Plainfield Volunteer Firefighters Association helps overcome financial challenges when the Plainfield Fire-EMS Department has needs that exceed the annual town budget. Your donations have made it possible for the town to operate a volunteer emergency services department at a level usually seen only in larger towns with larger budgets. In the last year, your donations purchased vehicle stabilization tools and a new “stair chair” for safely transporting patients down stairways. In previous years, you acquired a thermal imager and helped outfit the Public Safety Complex. This year, we are writing to ask for your help in purchasing new radio technology to enable rescuers to communicate no matter where they respond.

Radio communication—person to person, person to vehicle, person or vehicle to the county dispatch center—is all important during emergency events. In the 1970s, Plainfield was among the first of the hilltowns to adopt pager response for all 911 calls, dramatically improving response times. In 2010, we asked for your help raising money to update radio equipment to new federal narrowband standards. Today, all Plainfield firefighters, EMTs and police officers carry those pagers and/or portable radios. Emergency communications to these first responders works well. Usually.

Topography still creates spots in and around our town where only certain radio or pager technology will work. Having three counties in our region adds to the difficulty when towns respond together for mutual aid, as the dispatch frequency for Hampshire and Berkshire counties (VHF 154 MHz) is different from for Franklin county (UHF 460 Mhz). Simply put, there are times when first responders still can’t communicate by radio. Fortunately, there is technology available today that can improve this situation on all fronts. The Plainfield Fire-EMS Department needs to continue to improve the safety of first responders and to improve their ability to respond to emergencies, by installing multi-band radios for front line fire vehicles and by upgrading the chief officers’ radio capabilities to this new technology.

Here is how you can help. It will cost $10,000 to purchase this needed communication technology. This is far beyond the Plainfield Fire-EMS Department’s annual $2,000 budget for communications, much of which is used each year just to repair and maintain the existing system. Our goal is to make it possible for for Plainfield’s volunteer first responders to communicate no matter where the emergency is. Plainfield’s volunteers need your help to purchase these communications upgrades to help them save lives in our town. Your neighbors who volunteer as firefighters and EMTs donate hundreds of hours of their time responding to calls, completing training, and working on equipment. With your help, the Association hopes to be able provide the money for this important technology. Can we count on you for your help?

We hope you will support our Annual Fund Drive through a tax-deductible donation. Checks save credit card processing fees and can be made out to the PVFA and mailed to:

PVFA, c/o Treasurer Andy Stevens, 815 West Main Street, Plainfield, MA 01070

Credit card donations can be made at the link below. Please consider adding a few dollars extra for fees.

As always, thanks for your support and for making Plainfield a true community and a safe place to live.

PVFA, supporting Plainfield’s volunteer firefighters and EMTs

We are a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. Our IRS EIN is 04-3283889.