PEMBROKE TOWNSHIP — Three months ago, Pablo Shoreque Jr. joined the Pembroke Fire Protection District.

“I’ve always had a curiosity and interest in firefighting,” the 26-year-old Pembroke resident explained. “My friends think I’m crazy to run toward a fire,” he said.

Pembroke Fire Chief Mark Baines said Shoreque, who has lived in the township for nine years, is one of 13 current members of the volunteer department.

Funding is tough to come by for the department, so firefighter turnout/bunker gear can be a patchwork.

Shoreque’s gear is no exception. He said some of the items he received were old and worn out. He wanted to upgrade to newer equipment.

Knowing the department has limited resources, Shoreque had the idea create a GoFundMe page to obtain his new gear. His goal is $2,500. As of Wednesday, $355 had been donated.

Shoreque said he will use the funds to purchase a helmet and face shield, fire boots, coat, pants and gloves.

According to, the exact cost of firefighter turnout/bunker gear depends on the type of fires being fought and the brands/nature of the equipment used. However, a firefighter’s personal gear can range from about $3,000 up to $10,000 or more.

Baines said he understands why Shoreque is doing this.

He said a grant allowed the department to purchase turnout gear for eight of the department’s 13 firefighters.

“If you don’t get grant money, it makes it tough,” Baines said.

Shoreque’s GoFundMe can be found at

Jeff Bonty is a reporter for The Daily Journal. He can be reached at and 815-937-3366.


Jeff Bonty has worked for The Daily Journal since September 1986, starting in the sports department before moving to news reporting in 2002. He's a native of Indiana and graduate of Purdue University. His email is