Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Co. has mailed appeal letters to residents and business members of the community to seek financial assistance for 2011.

The letter, signed by the men and women of the fire company and Ladies Auxiliary, said that the current economic conditions are affecting the fire company as much as they are affecting homeowners.

The fire company is experiencing increasing fuel costs, heating and electrical bills, equipment repairs and general maintenance of the building costing them approximately $50,000 so far this year.

Adding that to the two truck loans of $1,030 per month and a yearly payment of $41,000 for the Rescue Pumper is putting terrific stress on volunteers to raise funds to meet these expenses through fundraisers.

To make matters worse, the 1983 tanker did not pass inspection and has been taken out of service.

They are presently in the process of ordering a new tanker.

The fire company is asking everyone to send a donation with the appeal letter.

Last year the fire company responded to 157 calls for help and aid, along with the fire police.

The Ladies Auxiliary works tirelessly to provide quality food and services during the many fundraising activities.

Volunteers responded to dwelling fires, vehicle accidents, brush fires, pole fires, mutual aid to neighboring fire companies and offer many other services.

For additional information about volunteering your time and talents at various fundraisers, call (610) 377-2144.

Donations can be mailed to: Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company, 2440 Fairyland Road, Lehighton, Pa. 18235.