Moundridge Fire Department will have its 10th annual chili feed fundraiser from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18. Organizers are looking for raffle donations to raise money for water rescue equipment, in particular suits that will enable firefighters to enter cold water if needed.

MOUNDRIDGE — A bowl of chili could save a life.

Moundridge Fire Department will have its 10th annual chili feed fundraiser from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18. Organizers are looking for raffle donations to raise money for water rescue equipment, in particular suits that will enable firefighters to enter cold water if needed.

"After what happened earlier this month with the water rescue at Pack Park, we decided we would raise money for equipment so we can better respond to emergencies like that," said Dale Vickrey, assistant fire chief for Moundridge. "This will make it a lot easier and safer for our firefighters to extricate a victim."

On Jan. 6, three people fell through ice while walking on the frozen pond at Pack Park. Two of them, a mother and child, died. The hope is that improved equipment will allow firefighters to more easily rescue people in frozen water.

The department has used fundraiser money in the past to purchase a variety of emergency response equipment, including rams to stabilize vehicles after an accident and extrication tools. Money has also been used to make sure Moundridge's fire trucks carry the same type of equipment.

"Because of this fundraiser, we don't have to use county money," Vickrey said. "We can raise our own money and purchase equipment that way."

Due to the collaborative nature of emergencies, these water rescue suits can be used across McPherson County as needed.

"When we respond to a rescue situation, whoever is in charge will start making plans and calls to get the equipment we need," said Jeff Deal, McPherson fire chief. "In the case of a water rescue, they might start by throwing a line, but they're also calling back to our station for our flat-bottomed boat if that doesn't work, and they could also call Moundridge Fire so they can bring their water rescue equipment."

The fundraiser dinner will include chili, cinnamon rolls, carrot sticks, tea and coffee at the cost of a free will donation. The raffle will begin at 7 p.m., with attendees able to bid on donated items.

"We are currently seeking donations for our raffle," said Rebecca Logue, auxiliary volunteer. "Those items can be from a local store or local home business. We will display the business cards with the raffle item."

Cash donations are also accepted. Those interested in donating items or money can contact Logue at 620-386-0285.

Contact Josh Arnett by email at jarnett@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @MacSentinel.