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Volunteer firefighter walks 25 miles to fund new gear

By: Kassondra Cloos
February 16, 2013
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photo - Nathan Quist walked about 25 miles to the Walmart on 8th Street from his home in Divide. He collected an unknown amount of money along the way to help buy new bunker gear for the Victor City Volunteer Fire Department, where his a volunteer. Photo by Kassondra Cloos, The Gazette
Nathan Quist walked about 25 miles to the Walmart on 8th Street from his home in Divide. He collected an unknown amount of money along the way to help buy new bunker gear for the Victor City Volunteer Fire Department, where his a volunteer. Photo by Kassondra Cloos, The Gazette 

Volunteer firefighters are still counting the donations they collected Saturday during one man’s walk from Divide to Colorado Springs.

Nathan Quist, from the Victor City Volunteer Fire Department, walked about 25 miles from his house in Divide to the 8th Street Walmart to raise money for new protective bunker gear for his crew of 10.

Quist started his walk around 7 a.m. and finished just after 2 p.m.

“There are a few blisters on my feet, but other than that, I feel pretty good,” he said. “As long as I get to support my brothers and sisters, heck yeah I’d do it again.

The idea started on Facebook where Quist asked people how much money they thought he could raise by walking all the way to Colorado Springs in full gear, holding a sign that his department was in need of new safety equipment.

He got such an overwhelmingly positive response that he decided to do it. Other volunteers also collected money at designated spots along Quist’s route.
An online donation site through gofundme.com raised almost $2,000 for the cause by Saturday night. At least $3,000 was collected during Quist’s walk, but there’s still quite a bit left to count.

Few people know that there’s an expiration date on the gear firefighters use to protect themselves from flames as hot as 600 degrees, said Victor volunteer Chase Campbell, and their gear needs to be replaced soon.

It costs about $3,000 to outfit one firefighter, Quist said.

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