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Rodman Fire Department Continues To Upgrade

By Staff | Feb 6, 2008

RODMAN – The good news just keeps rolling in for the Palo Alto County community of Rodman. It was recently announced that the Rodman Volunteer Fire Department received over $60,000 in grant monies, adding to the department’s growing list of successful fundraising efforts and grant requests.

Rodman Fire Chief Paul Hunter said that he was notified by the offices of U.S. Senators Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin in December that the Assistance to Firefighters Grant had been awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Rodman Fire Department was presented a total of $62,358 in grant monies for Operations and Safety.

Hunter explained that the department applied for the grant last March.

“This was the second year that we submitted for the funding, and this year we were successful” said Hunter. “We are very fortunate that we have this funding opportunity available to us.”

Hunter explained that all fire departments must keep current with state regulations, and part of those regulations require specific equipment upgrades.

“Fire equipment is so expensive. One SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) is around $5,000–that’s my budget for the whole year,” Hunter said. “It’s tough to purchase all this equipment to keep it going.”

What those dollars mean is the purchase of: six new SCBAs, a fire hose, extrication saw, ground monitor, a safety station for filling SCBA bottles, ten new radios, two ladders, a positive pressure ventilation fan, and three sets of turn-out gear to completely outfit the department of 12 volunteer firefighters.

“Last February, our department was awarded a $16,696 grant from the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation for safety equipment and gear,” Hunter noted. “They gave us enough for nine sets of turn-out gear, so this completes the department.”

Hunter added that the Rodman Fire Department has applied for another Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation grant for the current year in order to upgrade even more firefighting equipment.

In addition, the department purchased a fire truck recently with the proceeds from the Rodman Hillbilly Days event. The annual fundraiser was held in June 2007.

“We have a very active fire department,” said Hunter, who is also a state certified firefighting instructor. “Everyone in our department is certified, at the minimum, as Firefighter 2 and trained in Hazmat. We are truly appreciative of this funding.”

Assistance to Firefighters Grant awards aim to enhance response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public with respect to fire and other hazards. The grants enable local fire departments and emergency medical services organizations to purchase or receive training, conduct first responder health and safety programs, and buy equipment and response vehicles. The grants also support regional projects in which multiple organizations serving more than one local jurisdiction benefit directly from activities implemented with grant funds.