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Fire departments receive grants

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

OREGON COUNTY -- During the months of July and August the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Forestry Division distributes grant checks across the state.

Two rural fire departments in Oregon County were recipients of the matching grants.

The BB Road Volunteer Fire Department received a grant of $750.

BB Road Fire Chief Edgar Wilson said the funds will be used to purchase wild land fire helmets, fire hoses and traffic cones.

The Thayer Volunteer Fire Department received a grant for $2,344.

Thayer Fire Chief Norman Todd said his department purchased a 1986 brush truck with the grant.

MDC official Mac Roberts said this is something the Department of Conservation does every year in an effort to help rural fire departments that have little money to operate on.

Roberts said in all, 180 rural fire departments across the state received the matching grants, totaling $385,937.

"Departments could receive up to $3,000. The funds can be used to purchase personal protective gear, and fire fighting equipment," he said.

Roberts said fire departments are required to match the grants. He said the U.S. Forest Service helps MDC supply the funds for the grants.

"During the past 25 years, nearly $4,772,937 has been distributed to rural fire departments to help them increase the safety of their fire fighters and provide them with better fire fighting equipment," said Bill Altman, Forestry Program Supervisor with MDC.

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