Rural fire departments contribute to school safety.

October 29, 2015


 By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Fire chiefs representing the seven Mason County Rural Fire Authority departments presented Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole with a check for $3,450 tonight at Mason County Sheriff’s Office, to go towards the fundraising efforts to purchase The Boot devices for Mason County classrooms. See background story here.

The donation will purchase the device for 15 doors.

“This type of effort shows just how closely emergency services work together here in Mason County and what our priorities are, which are protecting are citizens — most importantly, protecting our children,” said Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole.

“The men and women of the county’s fire service are here to ensure the safety of our citizens,” said Riverton Fire Chief Joe Cooper. “While we are there in times of emergency, we also believe our job is prevention as well. This device will serve as a way to prevent potential tragedies in our schools.”

The monies donated by the fire departments are not tax payer dollars but rather money raised through various fund raisers held by each department.

The sheriff’s office has led the fund raising efforts for The Boot with donations being sent through the Friends of the Mason County Sheriff’s Office account with the Community Foundation for Mason County.

Sheriff Cole said the fundraising, which began Oct. 1, has already raised $36,000, which is about 30% of the goal. There are a total of 567 doors that need to be secured in the elementary and secondary schools of Mason County. Each device costs $230.

“It’s been fantastic so far,” Cole said of the fund raising. Most of the donations we have received have been in the $10 to $500 range. We have had some larger donations than that, but it’s been great to see individuals step up and give what they can. It’s been fantastic to see the high number of parents donate. This sends a message that parents have a vested interest in their children’s safety.”

The departments include Scottville, Custer, Branch, Riverton, Fountain, Grant and Free Soil/Meade. 

Those wishing to donate, may send a donation to Friends of Mason County Sheriff’s Office, c/o Community Foundation for Mason County, PO Box 10, Ludington, MI 49431; note: The Boot in the memo line.    

Online donations may be made at

Use the give online tab on the top of page, Select Mason County and leave area of interest blank under specific fund look for, Friends of the Mason County Sheriff’s Office.