OREGON COUNTY -- During July and August matching funds grant checks for rural fire departments were distributed by Missouri Department of Conservation Forestry Division staff. One hundred ninety-four fire departments across the state including two from Oregon County -- the Thayer Volunteer Fire Department and the Rover Volunteer Fire Department -- received checks up to $3,000 to help them purchase personal protective gear and firefighting equipment for wildland fires as well as structural fires. The Thayer Fire Department received $1,550 and the Rover Fire Department received $4,206. Thayer Fire Chief Perry Turner and Rover Fire Chief Glen Trantham accepted the grant checks for the fire departments.
According to MDC official Mac Roberts, the fire departments will be required to match these funds which were provided by the U.S. Forest Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Locally, Forest Resource Assistant Bart Kernodle presented the grant funds. Roberts said during the last 22 years, over $3,600 has been distributed to rural fire departments to help them increase the safety of their fire fighters and provide them with better firefighting equipment.