JoCo Fire District No. 3 receives grant
Johnson County Fire District No. 3 has received state approval for a Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant this year, according to Kansas Forest Service Fire Management Coordinator Ross Hauck.
The grants, made available through the Federal Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act, will total $240,000 statewide this year. Johnson County Fire District 3 will receive 50 percent of a matching grant ($504) for the purchase of commercial type chain saws to be used to clear areas of inaccessibility during grass/brush fire events. Funding for VFA comes from the USDA Forest Service. The Forest Service then awards a grant to the Kansas Forest Service, which administers the program and approves the grants to local fire departments. "The money is used to organize, train, and equip fire departments to prevent and suppress fires in rural areas," Hauck said.
"This is a great way for the Kansas Forest Service to encourage small community and rural fire departments to improve their services. While the federal share usually does not constitute a large part of a department's budget, it may make a big impact on a small volunteer department'"
According to Fire Chief Terry Zahner, JCFD No. 3 will now be able to purchase the chain saws to be placed on the department's three brush trucks for use at wildland type fires.
Eligible applicants serve rural areas and communities with populations of 10,000 or fewer inhabitants. Fire departments approved for funding must match at least 50 percent of the total cost with local funding.
The VFA Program has provided more than 254,000 for projects throughout the state this year.
Fire departments interested in applying for grants next year should call Hauck at (785) 532-3314, or contact him at Kansas Forest Service, 2610 Claflin Road, Manhattan 66502-2798. The phone number is (785) 532-3314.