Burning truck closes I-95 in Chesterfield

Fundraiser for Petersburg firefighters to save equipment from repossession

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Community leaders and a local radio station are teaming up to host a fundraiser to benefit Petersburg fire departments, who are struggling due to an ongoing city budget crisis.

Community activist Ricky Johnson is teaming up with 106.5 The Beat to host the event Friday at the Walmart Supercenter on South Crater Road to help the fire department.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Earlier this week, city council member decided not to close one of Petersburg’s four fire stations, but their concerns are far from over.

Serious budget cuts still need to be made to help close the city’s $12 million budget deficit.

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While jobs have been saved, new breathing devices were recently repossessed from the department and new protective gear is just days away from the same fate if a $32,000 payment isn't made by Monday, Sept. 12.

The protective gear in question includes turnout pants, turnout coats, helmets, and boots.

Organizers are hoping the community will step in and make monetary donations to go towards the outstanding $32,000 invoice.

"It's really important… When you dial 911, you want them to respond to your house fire or your medical emergency,” said Johnson, founder of Ricky Johnson and Friends. “We're just stepping up to the plate.”

iHeartMedia’s 106.5 The Beat will also be collecting donations for the department and will be doing a live broadcast to get the community involved.

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DJ Mike Street, Urban Program Director Regional for the company, will broadcast live at the Walmart from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“Petersburg is our community,” he said. “The community supports us… So when there's an opportunity for us to do that, that's what we try to do."

Johnson said their goal is to raise $3,000 so they can present the fire department with a check Friday evening.

If you cannot attend the fundraiser, but would like to make a donation, contact Ricky Johnson at 804-774-0099.

You can also make donations by contacting the 106.5 The Beat Richmond office at 804-474-0000.