Shelton fire company's Easter flowers offer beauty, bring needed donations

SHELTON — White Hills Fire Co. spent Easter weekend helping beautify homes while filling its coffers with needed donations.

The pandemic, for the second consecutive year, forced the fire company to move its annual Easter flower sale to a drive-thru and delivery operation. But that did not stop dozens of residents from purchasing some 600 plants — with money from the sales going to cover the company’s needs from equipment to dress uniforms.

“We greatly appreciate the generosity of the residents of While Hills and of Shelton to support the dedicated volunteers,” said Soren Ibsen, a lifelong Shelton resident, White Hills Fire Co. volunteer for 35 years and longtime flower sale chair.

“This year and last year, we had a large number of donations in addition to the flowers purchased,” he added. “We had many say ‘keep the change’ and others just dropped off $50 or $100 checks.”

Nearly half of the flowers were sold in advance this year. The fire company volunteers delivered 23 orders and had another 45 orders for pickup.

“We normally sell out each year, but this year we were sold out prior to noon on Saturday and for the first time ever we had picked up more flowers on Friday night so we would have more for Saturday,” Ibsen said

Before the pandemic, the flower sale was held at the White Hills Shopping Center.

“This is our largest fund raiser each year and the funds are used to purchase fire equipment, dress uniforms for the members and other company operating expenses not funded by the City of Shelton,” Ibsen said.

Last year, he said the fire company purchased a battery-powered combination rescue tool, similar to the “Jaws of Life,” for use at car accidents, making entry to buildings and other rescue needs at a cost of more than $6,000.

Each dress uniform for members that is supplied by the fire company cost more than $300.

“With more than 50 members, those costs do add up quickly,” Ibsen said.

In previous years, the fire company has purchased a thermal imager camera — which cost more than $8,000 — to help firefighters see through smoke in a burning building. The company also purchased other rescue tools totaling more than $10,000.

Ibsen said the White Hills Utility Truck 55 was purchased 100 percent through donations for more than $80,000.

"So, the funds we raise help the entire Shelton community to be a safer place,” Ibsen said, “and to give the dedicated volunteers the tools they need in an emergency.”