The Morris Fire Protection and Ambulance District will soon have its own badge identification system made possible through a donation from the Morris Lions Club.
“The Lions Club has always been a good partner to the fire district,” said Chief Tracey Steffes.
Lions Club President Lori Linn and member Doug Linn brought the fire district a $1,300 check Friday with which to purchase the new system, which will allow for the fire district to make its own identification badges.
Steffes said years ago the Morris Fire Department paid into a system they shared with other area departments, but that MABAS 15 no longer accepts those badges. With the new system, they can do their own identification badges and make new ones annually.
The new system is expected to be in within a week, he said.
The district had originally applied for a grant to pay for the system, as well as other needs. But in the final payment of the grant that would have covered the system, the system payment was denied.
The Lions Club enabled the district to move forward with the purchase.
“We’re glad to help. We know it is going to go to good use here,” said club president Lori Linn.
“We like helping the fire district anytime we can. We’ve always had a really strong relationship,” she said.
That relationship dates back to at least 1947. Steffes shared an article with the Lions Club from when the club gave the district its first emergency squad truck in 1947.
The truck was equipped with gas masks, stretchers, ladders, oxygen, extension wire cutters, bolt cutters, extra gas supply and more, according to the article. Several months after the truck was donated, it helped save the life of a child.
The truck was dispatched to South Wilmington and rushed a 14-month-old to what is now Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center. Rescuers used up an entire supply of oxygen trying to save the child on the way to the hospital, according to the article.
The Lions Club has continued to make donations to the district since the truck, including money for airbags, to move the fire bell at station 1 and for the bell’s support structure, the district’s first resuscitator, and for signage at fire station 2.
The Morris Lions Club is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The club meets the first and third Thursday of the month at the Eagles Hall. For more information on the club call President Lori Linn at (815) 942-8262.