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Firefighters raise funds for new ‘Jaws of Life’

Crawford County Volunteer Fire Department District 5 is raffling off 425 pounds of Black Angus beef in an effort to raise money for a new “Jaws of Life” hydraulic rescue tool.

Garner Abattoir and Leon Copeland, area director for Chili’s, donated the almost $2,000 worth of beef, which will be cut and wrapped for the winner, said Rob Dickson, volunteer firefighter and fundraiser community chairman for District 5.

Donations of $2 per raffle ticket or $5 for three to win the meat are being accepted by the nonprofit group. A winner will be announced at a benefit dinner Nov. 16 from 4 - 8 p.m. at the District 5 fire station at 5920 Arkansas 59 in Figure Five.

“One two-dollar ticket could win the entire beef,” Dickson said.

While Dickson has had some tell him it is too much beef, for such a low price he said the winner could afford to be generous.

“They could give some away to friends and family if it was too much to store,” he said.

District 5 is hoping to raise at least $24,000 to cover the cost of the rescue tools, a necessity for a rescue response team that covers about 65 square miles, Dickson said.

“It’s one of the most important pieces of equipment for auto accidents,” Dickson said.

Accidents happen quite a bit in District 5 because of its winding, rural roads, Dickson said. The district includes Figure Five, Dora, Uniontown, Webber Creek, Shiloh Village and the 43 community on Pine Hollow Road.

One of the district’s two sets broke down a few months ago during one such incident on Arkansas 59, as a rescue crew worked to free an accident victim from their car, Dickson said. Firefighters had to call Van Buren Fire Department to help with the extraction, he said.

Fortunately, the person did not require immediate medical care, Dickson said.

District 5 also provides their rescue tools to District 4, whose one set of tools also is broke, and District 9, which has no set, Dickson said.

“It just shows you how low funded all the volunteer fire departments are,” he said.

The benefit dinner will offer barbecue pork plates at $5 each, and a silent auction also will be held. Those who purchase a plate will get a confidential number to use during the silent auction.

Some silent auction items include an 18 passenger Hummer limousine ride, donated by MyCloudLimo in Van Buren, and a laser guided skill saw, donated by Lowe’s, Dickson said.

Raffle and auction winners will be announced at 8 p.m. Raffle ticket holders do not need to be present to win, Dickson said.

Willin-N-Able acoustic country band is expected to perform from 6 - 8 p.m.

Donations also are being accepted, Dickson said. RT Services and 3 Broke Girls Variety Shop, both in Van Buren, already have helped sponsor the event, he said.

For more information, tickets or to donate, contact Dickson at (479) 806-8370.