MYRTLE -- After years of working with hardly adequate firetrucks the Myrtle Volunteer Fire Department received a Federal Emergency Manage-ment Agency grant that enabled it to buy a slightly used firetruck for their department.
According to Myrtle Fire Chief Carroll Garrison, the FEMA grant was for $72,000. The department kicked in 10 percent of the total cost of the truck, which was $80,000.
Garrison said the new truck is a 1998 Freightliner with a new pump and tank bed.
The department had been trying to work with old fire vehicles, including a 1967 International truck and a 1970 Chevy truck donated to the fire department by Thayer Gas. The department also worked with a Jeep brush truck that the Missouri Department of Conservation allowed them to use that held only 200 gallons of water.
The fire chief said former Myrtle resident Mark Dethrow helped fire department members fill out a grant for the FEMA funds. Garrison said Dethrow was instrumental in getting the new truck for the fire department.
The Myrtle Volunteer Fire Department runs only on money from donations and fund raisers.
At the end of May the fire department has its annual fish and chicken fry. Then the last Saturday in September during Yeasterdaze activities MVFD offers breakfast and dinner as a fund-raiser.
The fire department began in 1981 with Carl Sundahl as fire chief. Funds were raise by Myrtle Centennial event organizers Clara Williams, Buster Smith and Delores Larsen for the centennial in 1981. With the funds left over the fire department was started.
Garrison became chief in the early 1990s.
Larsen has served as fire department secretary since its beginning.
"Luckily, we had a slow year last year and the department only answered approximately 10 calls," she said.
"Because of insurance purposes we are only supposed to answer calls in a five-mile radius of the Myrtle community," Larsen said.