July 15, 2010

MDC Grant Helps Fund Equipment for Firemen

Wildfires donít claim the headlines in Missouri that similar blazes may garner in the western states, but the catastrophes, either man-made or natural fires still occur.

Thatís why the Missouri Department of Conservation annually offers hundreds of thousands of dollars in aid to local fire departments to help better prepare them to battle the problem.

MDC representatives were in Memphis last week to deliver a $3,000 check to the Scotland County Fire Department as part of the MDC Forestry Divisionís matching grant project. Checks have been or will be delivered to 169 fire departments during the months of June, July and August.

The checks, for up to $3,000, are being used to help pay for personal protective gear and other fire-fighting equipment to be used in fighting wildfires as well as structural blazes and other disasters.

Bill Altman, FMDC Forestry Field Program Supervisor Ė Fire, stated the 2010 total funding of the MDC matching grant program is $373,585.

Fire departments are required to match these funds, which are provided by the U.S. Forest Service and the MDC.

Over the past 28 years, nearly $6 million has been distributed to rural fire departments to help them increase the safety of their firemen and women by providing better equipment for the departments, which are mostly manned by volunteers.

The Scotland County Fire Department recently purchased 26 sets of fire-fighting gloves, 26 Nomex fire-resistant hoods as well as three full sets of structural personal protection equipment.

Fire chief Bryan Whitney stated the total cost of the purchase was $6,441 with the MDC grant matching $3,000 of that price tag.

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