By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
If you arrive at the Martin Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department fundraiser Saturday, March 23, and all the pies and cakes are gone, you might want to look up Al Davis.
"We have some women out here who can cook like nobody else," Davis said laughing. "I'm not going to buy all of them but I've already put dibs in on a few."
Cooking, in addition to fighting fires and answering other emergency calls, is something the members of the the fire department are good at. This annual event to help raise funds for much needed equipment will begin at 10 a.m. and go until all the food, pies and cakes are gone. Which if the last several years are any indication, won't be much past noon.
"We were sold out by noon last year," Davis said. "We hope we have the same response and support from the community."
BBQ and fried chicken will be on the menu, along with baked beans, cole slaw and a desert. Each plate can be had with an $8 donation to the department. Davis said for takeouts, people can call 601-737-2198 for orders of 10 or more plates.
Davis said the pies and cakes that will be on sale are among the most popular items during the fundraiser that last year netted the department around $4,500.
A raffle will also be a big draw as a Remington Model 870 12 gauge shotgun will be the featured item. Davis said other prizes include gift cards and donated items from local businesses.
Davis said the funds raised will be used to purchase more equipment for the volunteer firefighters. He said a full set of turnout gear to equip one firefighter will cost around $2,500. That cost does not count the self-contained breathing apparatus firefighters use to enter smoke filled structures.
"We currently serve 850 homes in the Martin community," Davis said. "Each of these men and women volunteer his or her time to serve the people, their neighbors, and even many Lauderdale County residents they don't know."
Davis said in addition to extra gear, the department is trying to save up money for a training room to be built.
Davis said the Martin Volunteer Fire and Rescue's high class 8 rating saves the average homeowner about $600 each year. He said without the help from the public, this status could be lost, causing insurance rates to increase.
Even $25 will help, Davis said, and those who would like to contribute to Martin Fire & Rescue can mail their payment to Martin Fire and Rescue, P.O. Box 146, Collinsville, MS, 39325 or have $2-$3 added to their EMEPA bill each month by calling (601) 581-8600.
"You won't notice a few dollars each month on your power bill and you will help your fire department better to serve you in times of need," Davis said.
Martin Volunteer Fire & Rescue was established in October 1987. The fire department currently has 30 active members and 15 members of the board and is rated as one of the top in the state of Mississippi, Davis said.
To get to MVF&R, if coming from Philadelphia on Highway 19, take the Newton Martin Road to the four way stop in Martin. If coming from Meridian heading north on Highway 19, take the Collinsville Martin Road to the four way stop in Martin.