First-ever grant request pulls in $70,000 for Fire Department

Friday, August 1, 2003

GREEN FOREST ---- His first ever grant application met with great success, said Green Forest Fire Chief Chris Trask, who pulled in nearly $70,000 in grant funds for his department.

"I heard from the offices of Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor that we were awarded the money," said Trask.

"I wrote the grant with help from my wife and Mike Gallager, with the Northwest Arkansas Economic District, and submitted it in April.

"I asked for air packs, which are breathing devices, and turnouts (protective clothing)," he continued. "It was the first time I applied. It feels real good."

Trask said his volunteer fire department will actually receive $62,640 after a 10 percent match is subtracted from the total.

"The 10 percent match is a drop in the bucket," he noted. "That amounts to two air packs and two sets of turnouts that the city would have purchased down the road anyway."

With the grant funds, Trask said he can purchase 12 air packs, 12 extra air pack bottles, and 15 turnouts.

"We'll be replacing some air packs that are more than 30 years old," he stated. "Hopefully, this will catch us up on some things so we can better serve the community."

Trask said 2,000 applications were submitted for a piece of the $750 million in grant funds being dispersed nationwide.

In this seventh round of disbursements, $600,295 in grants were awarded to 14 rural fire departments in Arkansas, Trask's department being among those.

The grants are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Administration and U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the "Assistance to Firefighters Program."

According to a press release distributed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the program provides support to fire departments by providing the tools and resources necessary to ensure both the safety of department personnel and the general public.

Grant funds are used to enhance firefighting operations, develop firefighter health and safety programs, acquire new equipment and vehicles, enhance EMS programs, and conduct fire prevention and safety programs.

Grants were awarded to the following Arkansas fire departments for fire operations and firefighter safety in the following amounts:

Safell Volunteer Fire Department (Saffell) $36,896; Oxford Volunteer Fire Department (Oxford) $29,990; Oppelo Volunteer Fire Department (Oppelo) $36,450; Shaw Volunteer Fire Department (Benton) $88,785; Green Forest Fire Department (Green Forest) $62,640; Midland Fire Department (Midland) $9,722; Siloam Springs Fire Department (Siloam Springs) $69,174; Wright-Pastoria Fire Department (Wright) $40,140; Belfast/Palestine Volunteer Fire Department (Sheridan) $36,857; Highway 35 South Fire Department (Rison) $28,620; Macedonia Dorcheat Volunteer Fire Department (Magnolia) $28,800; Magazine Fire Department (Magazine) $54,749; Doddridge Volunteer Fire Department (Doddridge) $38,340; and Cerro Gordo Firefighters, Inc. (Winthrop) $39,132.

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