Rural fire departments receive fund-matching checks

Thursday, August 16, 2007
Marble Hill Fire Department chief Jim Bollinger displayed an $852 check provided by the U.S. Forest Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation for increasing fire protection in the Marble Hill area. (Submitted photo)
Fire chief Wayne Kiefer of the North County Fire Protection district in Bollinger County was pictured with a $2,580 check provided by the U.S. Forest Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation for protecting firefighters and the community. (Submitted photo)

Matching funds grant checks for rural fire departments were distributed recently by the Missouri Department of Conservation Forestry Division staff to help with purchases of protective gear and fire fighting equipment for wildfires and structural fires. The funds are provided by the U.S. Forest Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Whitewater Fire Protection District received a $3,000 check to purchase needed items for the district. Pictured from left were board member Ken Moore, fire chief Garry Moore, Capt. Roger English, assistant chief Steven Amelunke, board president Harold Palmer and board member David Coomer. (Submitted photo)

Three rural fire departments in the area received funds of up to $3,000, which the departments are required to match. They are Whitewater and North County Fire Protection Districts and Marble Hill Fire Departments. Items purchased include coveralls, pagers, radios, backpack blowers, goggles and hard hats.

"All of this equipment will certainly help protect communities as well as the firefighters" said Marty Calvert, forester for the Missouri Department of Conservation. "It's great to see our local fire departments benefit from this matching funds grant."

The Volunteer Fire Assistance Program, formerly known as the Rural Community Fire Protection Program, can provide federal financial, technical and other assistance to state foresters and other appropriate officials to organize, train and equip fire departments in rural areas and communities to suppress fires.

One hundred ninety-eight fire departments statewide will be receiving checks of up to $3,000 to help them with the purchase of protective gear and firefighting equipment. The total funding for fire department matching grants this year is $385,937.

cpagano@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133

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