‘Guns & Hoses’ come together for fundraiser

Amye Buckley

Students at the Missouri Southern Fire Academy are raising funds with a chili cook-off and weenie roast on Oct. 25.

“It’s just to raise money for the firefighter academy,” said Will Warman, fire academy student. “We’re operating on a shoestring budget this semester.”

Firefighting boots and gloves for students enrolled in the program are the top fundraising priority. Warman said it could take $3000 to outfit the 15 students enrolled in the class. Students would be able to take the boots and gloves with them as they start their jobs.

They plan to make the event an annual one.

“If we’re able to raise a pretty good amount we’d like to be able to buy our own apparatus, an engine or a tank,” Warman said.

Donations will be accepted for the chili tasting and the group will sell weenies.

Dr. Bruce Speck, university president and Wayne Thomason, criminal justice department head, will be among the judges for the chili cook-off.

So far they are receiving wide support form the community.

The Red Cross and Mothers Against Drunk Drivers also plan to set up displays.

The gear they use for practice is surplus donated by local fire departments. It does not pass National Fire Protection Association standards and they would like to raise the standard.

Other equipment like hoses, nozzles, ropes, pike poles, ladders and axes are borrowed from local departments which they would like to replace with their own.

“We’re absolutely dependent on the surrounding fire departments to provide those for us,” Warman said.

The Fire Academy “Guns and Hoses” Chili Cook-off will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 25 at the Mills Anderson Criminal Justice Center. If the weather is good they plan to set up in the parking area outside.