Monroe County firefighters in need of funds kick off the summer festival season later this week.

The four fire companies in Monroe County’s West End are working together to put on a three day fundraising festival.

The annual event at the West End Fairgrounds in Gilbert comes at a time when firefighters need the community’s support the most.

"This year at the festival we decided to do something a little bit different to make people aware of the dedication and the amount of years these fire companies have been around."

Thanks to Susan Hunter the history of the four fire companies that serve Monroe County’s West End will be on full display at the annual Fireman’s Festival this Thursday through Saturday.  She knows firsthand their sacrifices truly make a life or death difference.

Hunter says, "I’ll never ever ever forget the courage of all those guys saving my house."

That’s why she’s one of the many getting ready in support of helping the local heroes make the event bigger and better. Hunter is in charge of the new mega Tricky Tray. They have around 400 prizes for babies, kids, women and men that were donated by the community.

Hunter says, "We have a 75 inch TV, not too shabby, a big grill that comes already filled with propane tank, we have a Blackstone tabletop grill, we have cornhole boards, and we have a great fuel package, $300 in fuel."

You can go home winning really big at the West End Fairgrounds in Gilbert. There will also be all kinds of food, rides, games and bands. But that’s not all they have planned.

Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder Fire Chief Leon Clapper says, "On Saturday, one of our big features is the Touch-A-Truck, we’ll have all kinds of heavy equipment there. We’ll do the Helicopter Candy Drop for all the kids. And then, Saturday evening around 9:30, we have the grand finale of the fireworks."

The best part, all the proceeds go to the four volunteer companies.

Clapper says, "Everything in the fire industry costs a fortune anymore, and unfortunately either we get tax dollars or we got to raise money like we are now. Some of your smaller townships can’t afford to pay tax dollars so fundraising is still a very important process of making fire companies run."

Clapper is hoping to use the money to refurbish their engine truck which is rusting.

Clapper says, "The cost of trucks are in the millions and we already got one big new ladder truck we got five years ago with a pretty hefty payment. Trucks are three-four years out so we’re going to refurb on ours to try to save everybody some money."

Monroe County’s West End Fire Companies are all hoping you’ll  answer their call for fun starting Thursday at 5:30. Admission is 10 dollars per car and it’s an easy way to say thank you for your service.