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Area Fire Departments Approved For $230,000 In Protective Gear

Seven fire departments of Douglas and Ozark counties that serve residents of Douglas County have been approved for a regional grant that will provide the departments with much-needed equipment.

The Douglas County Missouri Fire Chief’s Association is pleased to announce that they have been awarded a regional Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) for $230,477 to be used for personal protective equipment (PPE) and training for seven local fire departments. The participating fire departments will only have to pay 5 percent matching funds towards their purchases.

This grant will allow Ava City VFD, Brixey-Rockbridge VFD, Dora VFD, Eastern Douglas County VFD, Skyline VFD, Squires VFD, and Twin Bridges VFD to collectively purchase 83 complete sets of PPE, by application through a host department. None of the fire departments could make purchases of this magnitude on their own, considering all but one department is association membership based.  “Some of the turnout gear within the county was over 30 years old” says DCMOFCA President Chris Hammett, of Eastern Douglas County Fire Dept. “The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard is to replace gear after 10 years, but as small rural volunteer departments that rely on association dues and fund raisers, most of our funds go towards insurance, fuel, and vehicle maintenance,” said Hammett.

Hammett went on to explain: “Rural departments are small, so it is hard for one department to get an award for PPE, due to the low number of citizens served by each department. By banding together, we were able to apply for a regional grant and had a better chance of an award. One of the reasons the Douglas County Missouri Fire Chief’s Association was formed was to train together and collectively support each other to serve our citizens better.

Now we will be serving our citizens better and safer. This grant was a huge blessing to the county and we thank God for it!”