Exeter is latest area fire department to receive grant funds

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Exeter Fire Protection District is the third Barry County fire department to receive a federal grant in the last two weeks.

Last Wednesday, Congressman Roy Blunt announced that Exeter would be receiving a $53,789 grant through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The funds will be used to purchase new equipment for Exeter firefighters.

"We will provide eight new sets of protective clothing, breathing apparatuses and radios," said Fire Chief Jim Matthew. "A training package is also part of the federal grant. Our department has been blessed by these grants."

Previously, the Exeter Fire Department has received grant funding to purchase a new fire engine and other firefighting equipment.

According to Congressman Blunt, Exeter's most recent grant is part of a $500 million commitment from Congress to improve the capabilities and effectiveness of rural first responders to all kinds of emergencies.

It was reported last week that Purdy and Washburn fire departments had received federal grants as well during the 17th round of awards.

Purdy received a $48,369 grant that it will use to purchase water supply equipment and pay for firefighter training. Washburn's grant totalled $236,000, which the department will use to purchase a new pumper truck.

"Local fire chiefs always point out that many of the improvements these federal grants cover would not be possible with their limited resources," said Congressman Blunt. "New fire vehicles, added staff and state-of-the-art equipment have revolutionized rural firefighting, making firefighters safe, more effective first responders."

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