Metro West Fire warns about mailers soliciting money

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - Metro West Fire is warning residents of an organization soliciting donations throughout the St. Louis area.

Chief Mike Krause said the mailer out letters are misleading and may make people believe the fire department is asking for money. He also doesn't want people to think that if they don't donate, emergency services will be denied.

"The very first thing a person would read was something to the effect of 'what if you had a fire and no one came to put it out'," said Chief Krause. "I just want to make sure that our citizens here at Metro West and throughout St. Louis County know that whenever they call 911 they will get the service they deserve."

Krause said as a tax dollar-funded agency, it will never solicit for donations to benefit the fire department and will never ask a third party to do it either.

Fox 2 News checked and the Volunteer Firefighter Alliance is a Tennessee-based nonprofit registered with the IRS. It serves to help volunteer fire departments in rural areas across the country.

Its executive director, Alan Bohme, said it was not the organization's intention intention to mislead the public and that the mailers clearly state where the money will go.

"The money is for our national organization. Do we help local fire departments? We absolutely do. Is the $10 check somebody is sending going to their local fire department? It is not going to them directly," Bohme said.