Helping Holt Fire keep its cool

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Members of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors present a $500 check to Holt Fire Chief Scott Chestnut Oct. 3. From left are Joe Capelotti, Farah Raschid, Chrissy Hartley, Scott Chestnut, Bionca Barry and Natalie Peyton.

HOLT, Fla., Oct. 4, 2019—The Emerald Coast Association of Realtors stepped up to help Holt Fire keep cool during record-breaking high temperatures this season.

A $500 donation was presented yesterday to go toward funding drinking water and other hydration needs for Holt Volunteer Fire District firefighters as they respond to community emergencies.

The Realtor association’s Community and Military Outreach Committee conducted a Stop, Drop and Donate fundraiser by placing Culligan water jugs in 25 offices throughout Okaloosa County.

Money raised goes to volunteer firefighting units in north Okaloosa County to help offset drinking water costs, said ECAR member Chrissy Hartley.

“We donate to six different fire departments in the north end of the county,” she said. “This is to help offset costs of water or Gatorade or even coffee when pulling long shifts.”

Baker Fire District also received a $500 donation.

Hartley became aware of the lack of funding for volunteer fire departments when her sister became a member of Holt Fire.

“They don’t receive any funding,” she said. “They depend on grants and donations, yet they’re held to the same standards as funded fire departments.”

Holt Fire depends on grants and donations, as well as fire assessment fees, to help pay for equipment, radios, vehicles, maintenance, training and insurance as well as non-fire-related items such as utilities, computers and office supplies.

Besides helping to provide water, the goal is to also raise awareness of what local fire departments do for the community and the need for everyone’s support, said Hartley.

“Every little bit counts,” she said.

Stephanie Holcombe

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