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The Willisburg Fire Department and Rescue Squad is one of 78 fire departments from across the state that will get a part of $259,070 in grant funds. The Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) has awarded the money to rural fire departments from across the state through the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grant program.
Rural fire departments are often the first line of defense in protecting communities from wildfire, and with more than 800 fire departments in the state (approximately 760 being volunteer fire departments) additional funds have provided much needed equipment.
The Willisburg department will receive $4,545, and will purchase 18 sets of wildfire fighting equipment, according to Lynn True with the KDF.
VFA grant funds are used to purchase items specifically for fighting wildfires such as training materials, pumps, hoses, tanks, small fire suppression equipment and personal protective equipment such as Nomex, fire shelters and gloves.
Each year, wildfires destroy property and homes in Kentucky. In 2010, Kentucky’s fire departments made nearly 8,000 wildland fire runs. As regions change from farmlands and forestlands as a result of urban development, wildfires pose an even greater danger to people and their homes.
To be eligible for grant funding, rural fire departments must serve communities with 10,000 or less citizens.
For more information about the Volunteer Fire Assistance grants and program objectives, please contact KDF at 1-800-866-0555 or visit www.forestry.ky.gov.