OREGON COUNTY -- Two Oregon County rural fire departments have received large grants from a Department of Homeland Security grant program.
The grant money is to be used to purchase firefighting equipment, to fund firefighter and safety programs, to enhance emergency medical services programs and to present fire prevention and safety programs in the departments' service areas.
Myrtle Rural Fire Department received a $72,900 grant. Carroll Garrison is the Myrtle fire chief.
Fire department secretary Delores Larsen said the grant money would be used to buy a new fire truck at Myrtle. The tanker truck the department uses is outdated; it was donated to the department by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Myrtle Rural Fire Department operates strictly on donations from the community.
It holds three important fund-raisers each year: a Memorial Day fish fry, a breakfast and lunch during Myrtle Days activities in September and a fish fry in the fall.
The fire department was first established in 1981. It services the Myrtle area and a five- to seven-mile radius outside the community.
Alton Volunteer Fire Department received a $79, 380 grant. Tom Young is the Alton Volunteer Fire Department chief.
According to Barry Pfister, assistant fire chief, the grant money at Alton will be used for personal protection equipment including jackets, pants, helmets, gloves, radios, nozzles, hoses and other equipment.
Pfister said the department operates with one primary truck. The department serves the city and a 10- to 12-mile radius outside the city.
This was the third try for the Alton Volunteer Fire Department to receive for the grant. Pfister said the department has one year to use the grant funds or they would be lost.
In all, five southern Missouri fire departments received grants.