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FFD gets bigger stipend for uniforms

Farmington firefighters do a lot more than just fight fires. They're pretty visible in the community, and they take pride in that.

Over the past year, the 44 members of the Farmington Fire Department logged nearly 325 hours of volunteer time in the community. They attended career days, they went to neighborhoods for National Night Out. They visit schools and host an open house during Fire Prevention Week. And they're almost all at the annual Turkey Bingo Party.

They would like to look good while they're out and about,

For years, firefighters have purchased most of their own uniforms. They've received a stipend of $50, but that doesn't go far in covering the cost of the EMT cargo pants, duty pullover long-sleeved shirts, lightweight duty jackets, event polo shirts, winter stocking caps and t-shirts that are part of those uniforms.

"One of the things we try to do is look professional," firefighter Mark Arens said. "We send these guys gout, but they pay for a lot of their clothing out of pocket, on their own."

That's why they asked the Farmington City Council to help out a little more. At Monday's budget workshop, firefighters asked council members to increase the fire department's clothing replacement allotment by $7,500, which would allow each firefighter a stipend of $200 annually for uniforms.

Council members agreed.

The funds will be placed in an account for each firefighter, through the uniform provider. The only way firefighters can access the funds will be through ordering their uniforms.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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