Representatives from Manila, Dell, and Etowah Fire Departments met on Wednesday to receive grant checks from the Forestry Commission and also the remaining 25 percent from the Arkansas General Improvement Funds.
"We appreciate what the firefighters do in our towns," Rep. Wagner said.
Simpson presented each town with a $1,000 check. Accepting the check from Dell were Marvin Quick, fire chief; and Tommy Gray, assistant fire chief. Representing Etowah were Robert and Shirley Johnson. Mr. Johnson is on the city council and they are both members of the Etowah volunteer fire department. Manila Mayor Clifford Veach and Keith Bennett, fire chief, accepted the check on behalf of the Manila Fire Department.
They all expressed their appreciation to Rep. Wagner and Mr. Simpson.
The Volunteer Fire Assistance grants were made possible through the Arkansas Forestry Commission. The grants can be used to purchase fire fighting equipment.
Arkansas State Forestry officials administer the program, which provides 50-50 cost-share grants (grants will be matched by time from the AFC) to volunteer fire departments to purchase fire-fighting equipment. The purpose of this program is to train and equip local forces to prevent, control, and suppress fires in rural areas. No matching funds will be required by the Fire Departments this year.
State Forestry employees solicit cost-share proposals from fire departments that serve communities of 10,000 people or fewer, review the grant proposals, and consider statewide needs when determining awards. The U.S. Forest Service provides the funding and oversight for the program.