Manila fire department receives gift

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Manila Business Women presented the Manila Fire Department with a gift of $1,000.

Members of the Manila Business Women presented a check to the Manila Fire Department. Pictured from left are Joann Bennett, Calvnita Halfacre, Manila Fire Chief Keith Bennett, Janella Caraway-president, Callie Hampton, and Elvina Bollinger.

"They work hard for us and we just felt they can use the money," Joann Bennett said. "They do so much for our community this is our way to show them how much we appreciate all they do."

Several members of the Business Women's organization met with Manila Fire Chief Keith Bennett on Friday afternoon at the fire station to make the presentation.

"We appreciate this and all you do for the fire department," Chief Bennett said. "Without the Business Women and others in the community we would not be able to be where we are today and we are planning for growth in the future."

"If we need you, we know you will be there," Calvnita Halfacre said. "We appreciate our fire department."

Chief Bennett told the women if they ever needed them for anything they are available.

"It doesn't have to be a fire," he said.

Chief Bennett said the fire department has 22 firefighters and they are dedicated to the community.

"Assistant Chiefs Woody Nunnally and Wes Sandusky step up when I am not able to be here and do a good job," Bennett said.

Chief Bennett said he was not sure what the department would do with the donation but it could go toward the new building or a new rescue truck.

"We are looking at possible grants to help us purchase a new rescue truck," Bennett said. "We are also planning on helping with a new building to be placed west of the fire station," Bennett said.

Future plans include using the material from the metal building, formerly Carquest, donated by Denny Farmer, to expand the fire station. With the new 60x80' building and 20x22' addition, it can house a training library, training office, office for the chief, captain's office, four bunk room, day room, fitness center, men and women's shower.

"Our firemen will work with a contractor to construct the building and hopefully that will save money on labor," Bennett said. "The addition will help us with future growth. The building will service as a good command center in a disaster or even as a shelter area. We are to be prepared for any disaster that could hit. The building will be located approximately 30 feet west of the present fire station and be connected with a breezeway."

Chief Bennett said they plan to have fundraisers to help with the planned projects. They will have the concession stand at the Manila Community Center on Friday, Feb. 24 when the Delta Country Band performs. Barbecue sandwiches, hot dogs, soft drinks, and other concession foods will be available.

Bennett gave the women a tour of the fire station and a look at the proposed building plans.

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