Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Matching grant program benefits Goodman Area Fire Protection District

  • GOODMAN — When firefighters with the Goodman Area Fire Protection District have to go out and fight fires, they will now have some new equipment to help them.
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  • GOODMAN — When firefighters with the Goodman Area Fire Protection District have to go out and fight fires, they will now have some new equipment to help them.
    On Friday, the Missouri Department of Conservation presented them with a check in the amount of $2,783.50 to help in the purchase of the equipment.
    “We used it to buy three new chainsaws, three new leaf blowers, which we put on three of our brush trucks,” said Keith Estes, fire chief of the district. “That will tremendously help us with brush fire. It is very beneficial and the good thing about the conservation program is the fact that there are a lot of things that small departments like us would not be able to do without the help that they do provide for us.”
    The check is a matching grant program through the conservation department called Volunteer Firefighter Assistance Grant Program.
    The request is sent into the conservation department by the fire department.
    According to Terry Cook, forestry resource technician with the conservation department in an earlier interview with the Neosho Daily News, “It goes before a committee, they look at all of the grants, determine who had the worst needs and then it is passed out accordingly. It is a 50/50 match.”
    Asked how beneficial the new equipment is for the fire department, Estes said, “the leaf blowers, we have already purchased those, and we have already used those leaf blowers on some fires that we have had,” he said. “They are big leaf blowers, the biggest that you can buy. They are amazingly good in the woods, where in the past we had to do all of that work manually with a rake. These have proved to be very efficient, they are going to be a great asset. The chainsaws we will use if we have a tree that is on fire, that is close to a fire line, we will try to cut that down, so it doesn’t eventually fall across the fire line, and cause us to come back later on, that is what we will use those for. We have used blowers and chainsaws.
    Fortunately, the rain has come at the right time this summer that we have not had much this summer. Back in the spring, we had several fires.”
    Estes said they had some older leaf blowers and chainsaws.
    “We try to keep a chainsaw on an engine, a lot of the time, an engine might not be at the brush fires,” he added. “So that will tremendously help to make where we have more available. The old blowers that we had it don’t blow a lot. The (new one) is a backpack blower, it makes it a lot easier to carry it around, keeps your hands free to do other things.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The new equipment are gas-powered.
    “We are extremely happy to have received the grant,” Estes said.
    By the numbers
    • Throughout the last 30 years, more than $7.5 million has been distributed to rural fire departments to help them increase the safety of their firefighters and provide them with better firefighting equipment.
    • This year, the total funding awarded to Missouri fire departments throughout the matching funds grant is $378,665.
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