The Robert and Frances Chaney Family Foundation awarded funds to six organizations that serve Barry County residents during its spring grant awards this year. The foundation awards funds to non-profit organizations that benefit education, human services and programs for children, families and public safety personnel.
The Central Crossing Fire Protection District in Shell Knob received the largest grant. The fire district was awarded $9,500 to purchase a thermal imaging camera.
"This grant allows us to purchase something that we wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise," said Rusty Rickard, Central Crossing fire chief. "The thermal imaging camera is a life-saving tool for the public and for our firefighters. It is something we have wanted for years, and we were very pleased that we received the grant, which funded 100 percent of the purchase."
The thermal imaging camera, which the district has used on two occasions so far, is valuable in search and rescue situations, said Rickard.
"When a house is on fire and filled with smoke, this camera allows us to search for people a lot quicker," said Rickard. "It can also be used outside. For instance, when we have a crash, the vehicle has rolled and the driver has been ejected they can be thrown several feet from the vehicle. This helps us to locate them much faster."
The camera also provides firefighter safety by allowing volunteers to see the temperature of items inside a burning structure.
"Most recently, we were in a home that was filled with smoke from an electrical fire," said Rickard. "With the camera you can pick out different heat sources, and we were able to determine what electrical item was overheating.
"This really helps us do our job more efficiently," said Rickard. "It is a huge asset, and we are very excited to have it."
Other organizations that received funds included: the Aurora Farmers Fire Protection Association, $5,000, for a project that will construct an addition at fire station #2; Community Health Clinic of Joplin, $7,500, medical and dental care for uninsured residents; Kornerstone Inc., of Shell Knob, $4,000, supplies for the Teen Moms program; Ozarks Regional YMCA, $4,116, Cassville YMCA rock wall; and Washburn Fire Department, $5,000, to construct a training and community room at fire station #1.
The Robert and Frances Chaney Family Foundation was established in June of 2006 with $10 million. The foundation is designed to award grants to organizations in southern Oregon and Barry County, because the Chaney family lived in both areas in the past. Organizations in Robert Chaney's home county, Cabell County, W. Va., are also eligible for grant funds.
The Chaney Family Foundation Board of Trustees meets twice a year to review grant applications and proposals. Qualifying applications must be from tax-exempt organizations or agencies. The deadline for fall grants is July 31.