Deceased Groveland Firefighter’s Gift Pays for Protective Gear Rack

New Groveland Fire Department gear rack purchased from the generous donation to the Groveland Fire Fighters Association from the estate of James Chooljian. (Courtesy photograph.)

The Groveland Fire Department recently purchased a protective gear rack thanks to the generosity of a former member of the department.

James Chooljian, a Groveland resident and member of the Groveland Fire Department, died in 1995 followed by his wife in 2002. Fire Chief Robert Valentine and the Groveland Fire Fighters Association said the Chooljians’ estate donated money in 2006 to the Association for the sole purpose of purchasing equipment for the Fire Department. Over the years, Groveland Fire has also purchased several other pieces of equipment items with the bequest.

“We are extremely grateful for this funding, and I want to acknowledge James Chooljian for this generous donation he left us,” said Valentine. “This is a major improvement for us, especially in how we properly store our wearable gear and makes a huge difference for everyone.”

The previous gear racks were built by Groveland firefighters, and firefighters had to keep their gear on the ground, where it couldn’t dry properly between calls. If firefighters responded to a call in the rain or snow, their gear would sit in puddles, not able to dry properly, often still being wet and cold when department members raced to the next incident.

The new gear rack can hold coats, helmets, boots, pants and all necessary wearable firefighting gear, allowing gear to dry properly between calls.

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