The Diamond Fire Department received a $2,883 check from the Missouri Department of Conservation at the fire station.
“We are very pleased that we are able to get the grant,” Fire Chief Gordon Skogsberg said. “It helped us out with the expenditures on that, because we don’t have a large budget.”
The department used the money to purchase two mobile radios, three Motorola portable radios, a Stihl chainsaw, a Magnum blower and three rechargeable box flashlights.
The grant is part of the Volunteer Firefighters Assistance program.
“It is a 50/50 grant, and (fire departments) can get up to $4,000 in matching funds,” said Terry Cook with the conservation department. “We encourage all of them to do that, whether they want to upgrade the radios, buy new wild land gear, or blowers or chainsaws or things like that. They put out the money and buy the equipment, send the application in, and if it is approved by our committee, then we pony up half of the money.”
Skogsberg explained how the department will use the equipment.
“The chainsaw is mainly for so many different things. We can use it for clearing roads after storms if we have to,” the chief said, adding that the chainsaw also can cut down a tree burning at the top when firefighters can’t get to the spot of the fire to put it out.
The blower can be used to make a fire line around a fire that is spreading. It’s for “about a 6-foot-wide area. That works real good for us to stop it,” he said.
Fortunately, Skogsberg said, brush fires are down this year.
“There was one year that was real dry, I think about three years ago. We were running constantly two or three times a day,” he said. “The weather has changed in the last year. This year it has been pretty calm, but a lot of our calls right now are controlled burns that were not called in, saying they were going to do a controlled burn, and we get called out by a bystander that is driving by (saying there is a fire).”
The new flashlights are LED, which the chief said will last longer than regular flashlights. The flashlights can do a flood-type beam or a spotlight.
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