The chief of the Metro West Fire Protection District is warning Wildwood residents to be skeptical about fundraising letters from the Volunteer Firefighter Alliance in Topeka.
“I’ve talked to some other fire chiefs in the area this morning,” said Metro West Chief Mike Krause. “None of them have any prior knowledge of this organization.”
The solicitation letter starts out with a five alarm question: “What if you had a fire and no one came to put it out?”
“I don’t appreciate the fact that someone would try to use scare tactics implying that if they didn’t pay, we wouldn’t come,” said Krause.
The fund drive letter goes on to say “You assume you can call 911 any time and someone will always show up to put out the fire in your home, right? Well, things have changed.”
“The person may need to make a donation in order to receive the services that we provide and that’s just plain incorrect,” said Krause.
This week in Connecticut similar warnings were issued by fire officials about the Volunteer Firefighter Alliance based in Topeka, KS. No one responded to 5 On Your Side’s voice mail request for a response by the organization. Meanwhile Chief Krause wants residents in his fire district to know receiving help from the fire department doesn’t depend on making a donation.
“We’re going to be there when you need us regardless of anything that might come in the mail from a third party,” said Krause.
Experts say if someone is soliciting funds for first responders, you should call the fire or police department to verify whatever claims are being made by the group collecting money.