GFD receives FM Global grant

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Greencastle Fire Department recently received a $2,000 fire prevention grant from FM Global, a leading property insurer of the world's largest businesses based in Johnston, R.I. The award will be used to assist with fire prevention activities in the community and help educate the community and reduce the number of fires.

FM Global recently presented the Greencastle Fire Department with a $2,000 fire prevention grant. On hand to receive the check from F.M. Global's representative Glen Olberding is President of Friends of the GFD Louis Fontaine and GFD Fire Prevention Officer Christy Glass. Pictured here are GFD Administrative Assistant Stephanie Tincher, Clerk Treasurer Pam Pierce, Olberding, Fontaine, Glass and Mayor Sue Murray.

Glen Olberding, Group Manager of Field Engineering for Indiana with FM Global, spoke briefly after presenting the check to Louis Fontaine, President of the Friends of the Greencastle Fire Department and Christy Glass, Fire Prevention Officer.

Because fire continues to be the leading cause of commercial and industrial property damage worldwide, FM Global has contributed millions of dollars to help prevent fires.

Olberding explained that in today's climate, many organizations and agencies working to prevent fire face ongoing budget constraints.

"These can hamper even their most ambitious efforts," he said. "Through our Fire Prevention Grant Program, fire departments can apply for funding to help strengthen their efforts to ultimately and more effectively prevent fire in their communities."

It costs nearly one million dollars on average per incident for a fire. FM Global works on preventive initiatives to enable organizations working to combat fire to be more proactive in their prevention efforts. These include prefire planning, fire prevention education and spreading awareness about arson and fire prevention.

"We all have a stake in loss prevention--the public fire service, whose duty is to help protect the community; the clients, who strive to keep their businesses operating and profitable and FM Global, whose mission is to help protect the value our clients' businesses create," claimed Olberding.

The grant will be used to purchase fire safety books that focus on the "stop, drop and roll" technique. The books will be distributed to area fifth grade students next year.

"We are focusing on fifth graders this year and will expand our program the following year," said Christy Wells, Greencastle Fire Prevention Officer.

"We want to get kids to think beyond the Sparky program and learn more about what to do in a fire situation. We are adding to our program by using these new fire safety books," said Wells.

The Greencastle Fire Department originally started as a volunteer fire department in 1849 with one horse drawn steam engine. The department eventually had a few paid firemen, but after a short period of time went back to a volunteer department.

After a big downtown fire, the City saw the need to have a paid department and employed four firefighters until the early 1950s.

They added firefighters over the years and by 1978 employed 12 firefighters. In 1990 they added four additional men. They currently have a reserve division with 18 firefighters.

The Department offers fire safety and prevention programs. For more information about fire safety contact Wells at the Greencastle Fire Department at 653-3108.

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