A local volunteer group has hired a private company to solicit donations door-to-door to assist their search and rescue organization.
Residents should be aware that Santa Rosa Volunteer Search & Rescue, Inc. is not associated with local fire departments or emergency services provided by the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners . County search and rescue functions are coordinated through emergency management and are primarily conducted by fire departments and the volunteer organization CERT or Citizen Emergency Response Team. While other organizations may be called upon to assist in some instances, this volunteer organization is not affiliated with any Santa Rosa County government office or any of the 16 fire districts. Citizens wishing to make donations in support of their fire department are encouraged to do so in person at their local fire headquarters.
Santa Rosa Volunteer Search & Rescue, Inc. approached the Santa Rosa County Firefighters Association at their June board meeting seeking support for their fundraising plan. The association, made up of local fire chiefs and firefighters, declined to support the plan and asked the volunteer organization not to solicit donations door-to-door, as it may be perceived as the fire departments asking for additional money above MSBU or fire taxes paid by residents each year. Midway Fire District has already received complaints from citizens. For this reason, Santa Rosa County Commissioners asked MSBU funded fire stations not to conduct similar fundraisers in late 2007.