On Feb. 7, Gov. Matt Blunt announced that the Wheaton Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $158,255 grant through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant program.
Although the Wheaton Fire Department is acting as the fiscal agent that will receive the $158,355 grant, the funds will benefit 12 fire departments in Barry County by placing new pagers into the hands of every local firefighter, said Bob Lombard, Wheaton Fire Department chief.
"This new notification system, coupled with the new E-911 phone system that goes into operation in the near future will be a great asset to Barry County and the fire departments that serve it," said Lombard. "The grant will pay for 350 pagers. Firefighters will receive a page for each fire call with directions to the emergency, and each department will have its own notification system."
The Department of Homeland Security awarded $684,326 in grants to fire departments and districts across Missouri in February.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is part of a national strategy designed to enhance first repsonders' ability to protect the health and safety of the public during fire-related emergencies while protecting the personal safety of the first responders.
"I commend all of Missouri's public safety officials for the outstanding jobs they do each and every day to protect the safety and well being of Missouri's families," said Gov. Blunt. "These grants will help ensure that Missouri firefighters have the tools they need to effectively and efficiently perform their duties to protect lives and property."