JoCo RFD No. 3 gets federal grant
This year, it was Johnson County Fire District No.3’s turn.
The fire district learned last week it would receive a $41,158 federal grant. Fire district operations manager Mark Billquist said the money would be used to buy 21 sets of turnout gear for the department.
Last year, the De Soto Fire Department received $128,000 from the same federal grant to buy 46 sets of turnout gear and 10 air packs.
Billquist said the department applied for enough money to outfit all the department’s 10 full-time employees, 17 part-timers and 20 volunteers with new helmets, boots and suits but was happy with what was approved.
The new turnout gear will be doled out to full-time employees and volunteers, Billquist said.
The department attempts to purchase three or four new outfits a year, Billquist said. With the new equipment, the department will select the best of the existing outfits.
Helping the fire district write the grant were De Soto Fire Chief Kevin Ritter and Max Sielert, the fire chief of Johnson County Fire District No. 1.
“He’s been very successful,” Billquist said. “It (success in grant writing) has to do with how you present yourself. You go thorough and make it easier them to understand what your needs are.”
The De Soto Fire Department and the fire district are scheduled to merge Jan. 1, 2010. A committee of two city representatives and the three-member fire district board is to start working on the details of the merger early next year.