Orange residents are being warned not to respond to solicitation letters from the “Volunteer Firefighters Association.” Those letters are not from the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.
Fire Chief Vaughan Dumas said he has received reports of people receiving the official-looking letters that include the resident’s name and a “Pledge Reminder Payment Coupon.” He warned that the letters are untrue.
“We didn’t send the letters and we don’t get anything from them,” said Dumas. “We’ve asked them to stop soliciting our residents, but they continue to ask for money. None of those funds come back to Orange.”
The letters are emblazoned with “Volunteer Firefighters Association” across the top. After a personalized greeting, the letter says, “Our records indicate that we have had no response from you” and urges the recipient to mail their pledge. The coupon includes a confirmation number, a pledge date and an address in Milwaukee. “It all looks very legitimate, but it isn’t,” said Dumas.
Dumas said donations are very important to the Orange Volunteer Fire Department because the department runs on donations. Its largest fund-raiser is the Fireman’s Carnival during the first weekend in August, but other contributions are appreciated – and needed.
Any solicitation letter from the Orange Volunteer Fire Department will have the department’s name on it and will include an Orange address, Dumas said. People who want to contribute can mail donations directly to the department at P.O. Box 878 in Orange, Conn., 06744.
The Orange Volunteer Fire Association provides fire protection to residents and businesses in Orange and, through mutual aid, surrounding towns. Members receive training in fire suppression, rescue, hazardous materials response, homeland security issues and other emergency services.
Operating strictly with revenues from fund-raisers and donations, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department is one of the remaining few all-volunteer incorporated fire departments in Connecticut. Active members are on-call to serve the community on a 24-hour/seven-day basis, responding from stations on Orange Center Road and Boston Post Road.
In addition, the fire company offers public education services including lectures, demonstrations and training. For information about membership, donations or public education, call (203) 891-4703, click on https://www.orangevfd.org or find us on Facebook.