Local News

Solicitations For Cary Professional Firefighters Cause Confusion In Triangle

Posted April 9, 2004

— Garner and Cary residents are among many in the Triangle getting calls to help police and firefighters. According to some, the cause of the solicitor is not clear.

Cary firefighters drive trucks and use equipment paid for by taxpayers. That is why some residents are confused when solicitors call asking for money to help Cary firefighters.

"We think it creates the perception that, for some reason, we're not adequately funded," Cary Fire Chief Allan Cain said.

The solicitors are not calling on behalf of the town, but for Cary Professional Firefighters -- part of a national union. They say the money is used to help local charities.

"The first line that the caller is supposed to state is that they're calling on behalf of the Cary Professional Firefighters Association," said Andy Hiscock, president of the local chapter.

Hiscock said Fireco, a professional fundraising group, makes the calls for his group and other firefighter associations.

According to Cain, Cary has received a number of e-mails from residents that tell stories of deception.

One man pressed the fundraiser for answers. He asked: "Are you a Cary firefighter? Do you represent the Cary Fire Department?" He said the answers were evasive, misleading and untrue.

State records show that last year, on average, fewer than 20 percent of donations went to individual firefighter associations. The rest went to Fireco.

Hiscock said it is still more money than his group could raise on its own. But he does not want donors misled.

"We've tried to work with the town of Cary to make sure any confusion is eliminated," Hiscock said.

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