When a call comes in, the volunteers of Lansford's American Fire Co. #1 don't hesitate to haul themselves out of bed at 2 a.m., pull themselves away from family dinners or give up that evening on the couch after a hard day's work.
All they ask in return is for each family to kick in a few dollars to help keep the lights on and the engines running.
The fire company has launched its annual fund drive.
"The fund drive is our largest and most important fundraiser every year and is our main source of revenue. The money raised helps our department pay loans, purchase vital emergency equipment as well as assist us in maintaining our present apparatus and equipment," said Assistant Chief/Secretary Joe Greco.
The goal this year is $40,000, the same as last year.
Volunteers are working to get the word out.
"This year we went door to door delivering our fund drive, distributing approximately 1,500 brochures," Greco said. "We then mailed out approximately 300 brochures to out-of-town landlords and property owners. It is hoped that each brochure distributed brings our department at least $25 or more. Every donation counts!"
Anyone who did not receive a brochure is asked to call fire company president Chris Aungst at (570) 657-6448 and leave a message and address so the volunteers can deliver one.
"For over the past 117 years, the American Fire Co. #1 of Lansford has been dedicated in volunteering to protect our community. We are local residents, just like you and we care enough about the lives and property of our neighbors to invest many hours of time away from our families in training, fundraising, serving our community and preparation to come to your aid when fires or other emergencies occur," the brochure says.
"Last year we responded to 188 calls and in every case a situation was made safe. We have put out fires, rescued accident victims and saved lives," it says.
"So often, the margin of safety for firefighters is slim. Add to that the urgency of saving lives, homes and businesses and it is easy to see that your support makes a huge difference. This annual fund drive helps to pay for approximately 50 percent of our annual budget for advanced training and the latest in lifesaving equipment to give our brave volunteers the edge they need to do their job. The annual fund also helps to pay for our most basic operating costs incurred throughout the year.
"As we struggle to maintain high-quality fire protection for the entire community, know that our success depends upon your support. Please join your neighbors in making a donation to the American Fire Co. #1 2012 Annual Fund Drive," the brochure says.
"No one knows when tragedy will strike and with your support, you can ensure that we remain a strong and vital resource within the community – ready to provide outstanding service when you, your family or friends need us to handle an emergency. So please take the time to donate today as our volunteers do each and every day," the brochure says.
Aungst added that the fire company is "always looking for volunteers to assist with administrative duties, fundraising efforts and of course firefighting."
Anyone who would like to pitch in is welcome to stop by the fire station on East Patterson Street on a Thursday evening, or contact the fire company at email@example.com.