TISHOMINGO, OK -- After more than 30 years, the Tishomingo Fire Department desperately needs a new building with more room for lifesaving equipment.
The volunteer firefighters have applied for grants without much luck, but Thursday afternoon, July 4th, the cash flowed in thanks to a unique fundraiser and a generous community.
The Tishomingo Fire Department hosted their very first Duck Derby, in order to raise money for a new building for their department.
Almost 2,000 ducks filled Pennington Creek in Tishomingo, Thursday afternoon, racing toward the finish and at 2 bucks per duck, they brought in some serious bills for the fire department.
The $4,000 dollars raised will help fund the new building and equipment upgrades, which Deputy Chief Gary Deaton said, will also improve the town's safety rating.
Deaton said, "We can only fit so many trucks in that department and we are having to do repairs to the building so a newer building would just help out a tremendous a lot to be be able to house this equipment and keep it longer. it keeps your trucks up better if you have a better place to put it."
Logan Chaney came up with the idea for the derby.
He said, "We've been having trouble getting grants, like everybody, everybody's tight with their money right now, so we're just trying to do anything we can to help"
Chaney says the mostly volunteer department still needs a little over a million dollars in order to fund the construction of the new building, new equipment, and extra training.
That's why he's so grateful for the support of his community.
"We've had people buy one duck, we've had people buy a hundred. We've had a lot of businesses buy here in town, which has been great. We have a Facebook page that you can contact me or the fire department through."
Johnna Holiday and Jennifer Martin, say they entered several ducks in today's derby to support the men and women who protect them
and who're doing it without the resources they need.
"Anyone can go down and look at the current one that they have now and it's in pretty pitiful shape. So they are definitely in need of a brand new fire department.", said Martin
Holiday added, "We'd just like to support them because of all the hard work that they do put into the community and the support that they give back to the community. This is a way we can support them."