The Decatur County Community Foundation recently announced its 2021 fire department grant recipients.
In 2018, DCCF established a grant process specifically for fire departments. Engaged board members realized that many of our grant dollars were being routed to volunteer fire departments each year, leaving other projects with less funding. After much consideration, the DCCF board decided to revamp how fire departments apply for funding: a specific annual grant allocation would be made available to these departments, and representatives from each VFD would work together to determine the best use of dollars based on their respective needs. This also provides an opportunity for the departments to share best practices, learn about each other’s needs, and help where possible.
This year three departments were awarded funding based on committee recommendations and following the DCCF board’s approval.
The St. Paul Volunteer Fire Department will receive $16,646.95. This funding will be used to purchase a washer and dryer specifically made for turnout gear. Turnout gear is the protective clothing worn by firefighters. This clothing is made of special fire-resistant fabrics to protect against fire, smoke and cancer-causing agents. Special equipment requires special cleaning protocols to ensure decontamination.
The Marion Township Volunteer Fire Department applied for $8,353.05 for funding to upfit their brush rig with a front turret nozzle. The brush rig is not fitted with a safe way to operate water streams from the apparatus, and riders are not allowed on the rear of the unit while in motion. The addition will allow the rig to operate with crew safely seated and belted in the back of the truck.
MTVFD has two additional projects it will be completing with its grant. They will be purchasing a flammables storage cabinet to safely and securely store hazardous materials. The department will also be stretching its request to purchase 15 new flashlights for volunteers.
“The DCCF has always been a great supporter of the MTVFD,” said Matt Stone, Chief of the Marion Township Volunteer Fire Department. “We have had the pleasure of working with their great staff to achieve so many goals and complete so many projects in order to make our job of protecting our great citizens easier and safer!”
Letts Volunteer Fire Department was the final recipient of this year’s fire grants. Their department received $5,000 for a new thermal imaging camera. Replacement parts are no longer available on their 10-year-old model. Once the volunteers are properly trained on the new camera, it will be placed on the ladder truck for use at any scene the department responds to.
The Community Foundation is proud to continue providing support for our volunteer fire departments. To learn how you can support the local fire department efforts through the Decatur County Community Foundation, visit us at dccfound.org, or contact us at 812-662-6364.