First Arriving Network
Powered by the First Arriving Network,Reaching 1M+ First Responders Worldwide

Fire chief on hunger strike for new firehouse

Click here if video above fails to play

More fire news from

Lehigh Fire Department website

The best we can tell this is not a Call The Cops type story but a legitimate effort by a fire chief of a department in Iowa that serves three towns. Lehigh Fire Department Chief Kirk Kelley apparently will have to go a while on his hunger strike because the site set up for the campaign so far only has a few hundred dollars of the half-million that’s needed. The department is all volunteer and handles as many as 7o calls each year.

In November, 2011 the department responded to a fire at Chief Kelley’s home.

Chief Kelley is providing updates on the hunger strike on the department’s Facebook page. here is part of his report from Day 1:

Day 1 is almost in the books and you wouldn’t believe how many people think I am joking of course if someone told me the same thing I would find it hard to believe. Today has definitely been a battle but worth it we raised $110 thank you to Jordan and Krista Wineinger for you donation of $100 and to Luke and Lindsey Winkelman for your donation of $10 in memory of Nick Hildreth a Rockwell City firefighter who passed away on 6/17/14.

Lehigh Volunteer Fire Chief Kirk Kelley says he is on a hunger strike until nearly $500,000 is raised to fund a new firehouse for his department.

Kelley says he got the idea from studying Gandhi, and researched the best practices for fasting for several weeks. He says he’s prepared by cutting his portion sizes and fasting for periods lasting from 12 to 48 hours.

IA Lehigh hunger strike 1

Kelley says the strike comes after several failed fundraising attempts for the Lehigh Volunteer Fire Department. 

“I want our fire department and every fire department to succeed, we are the life blood of America,” said Kelley.

IA Lehigh hunger strike 3

From Lehigh Fire Department Facebook page


Comments - Add Yours

  • Denise

    So if, as a fundraiser, they have a bake sale or a pancake breakfast or a beef and beer event or a chicken bar-b-q like 90% of volunteer departments in rural areas, he won’t be able to eat it.

  • Big Mac

    Really, $500,000 and he raised $110 so far. He is going look like shit after 5000 days! So then he will be skinny and stupid!

  • Justin Kase

    Wow 70 calls a year! those boys never stop! LOL!!

  • volunteer for life

    I have better idea form a tax district or say no way will we work like this.

  • Amy

    Wow….skinny and stupid?! Way to support your own! For such a small town and small department they are quite busy! They help out neighboring towns quite a bit including an equestrian camp which keeps them quite busy. I’m not sure where you are from, but in small town Iowa we support our own. Their other fundraising efforts have failed so he has taken this on…can you really condemn someone for wanting to better their department? The department my husband is on (not Lehigh) is currently trying to raise funds for a new building as well…fundraising is not an easy task. So if this will bring the attention to his cause then more power to him. He is a great guy and I think as volunteers we all deserve a little respect!!

  • mackc95

    you can bash him all you want, that is DEDICATION to his department, not just another wackbag who wants to “run calls” good for him, I wish him luck. Too many people just whore themselves out wherever they can get a firetruck ride.