By DAVID A. WILSON
Matching grant checks from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Forestry Division were presented to the California Rural Fire Protection District (CRFPD) and Jamestown Rural Fire Protection District (JRFPD).
Representing the MDC, Michael Schulte presented checks to Steve Walters, representing the California RFPD and Steve Borts, representing the Jamestown RFPD.
California received $3,000 for purchase of a 200 gallon water tank, called a Defender III, which is a "slip-in" unit to be mounted on a pickup.
Jamestown received $1,985 for purchase of two Apollo pagers, four hand-held radios, 10 speaker mics and one MS460 Stihl chainsaw with 24-inch bar with a case.
During July and August, matching fund grant checks for rural fire departments are being distributed to 182 fire protection districts for up to $4,000 to help with the protection of personal protective gear and firefighting equipment. The grants are for wildfire suppression as well as fighting structure fires.
This year the total funding awarded to Missouri fire departments though the matching funds program this year is $354,467. Fire departments are required to match 50 percent of the funds which are provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Forest Service, Volunteer Fire Assistance Program.
More than $7 million has been distributed over the last 30 years, to help increase the safety of their firefighters and provide them with better firefighting equipment.