Area fire departments receive grants

Monday, November 1, 2010

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.

Matt Simpson (right) with the Arkansas Forestry Commission presented area fire departments with a Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant. Pictured from left: Clifford Veach, Manila mayor; Tommy Gray, Dell Assistant fire chief; Marvin Quick, Dell fire chief; Keith Bennett, Manila fire chief; Rep. Charolette Wagner; Robert Johnson, Etowah Councilman and fireman and Simpson.

Presenting the GIF checks was Representative Charolette Wagner. Representing the Forestry Commission was Matt Simpson, County Forester, District 3.

"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.

Rep. Charolette Wagner presetned the city of Etowah with the remaining General Improvement Funds. Accepting the check are Robert and Shirley Johnson.

The GIF funding presented by Rep. Wagner included $500 for Manila and $375 for Etowah and Dell.

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.

Accepting the GIF funds from Rep. Charolette Wagner for Dell are Fire chief Marvin Quick and Assistant Chief Tommy Gray.

This money is authorized under the Volunteer Fire Assistance Act, and the National Fire Plan, according to Robert Summerville, Rural Fire Protection Administrator.

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.

Rep. Charolette Wagner presents the city of Manila with GIF funds. Pictured are Manila Mayor Clifford Veach and Fire Chief Keith Bennett.

Other recipients of the GIF Funds included Buffalo Island Veterans Memorial; Gosnell Police Department; City of Dyess; City of Keiser; Humane Society of Blytheville; Blytheville Police Department; Osceola Boys and Girls Club of So. Missco; Business and Professional Women Museum Project.

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