The Reelsville and Cloverdale departments received $4,500 and $5,000, respectively, to help with the purchase of a new skid unit. The unit is a piece of water equipment made to fit in the back of a truck and primarily used in fighting grass and field fires.
Reelsville will be replacing a 1986 skid unit through the 50/50 match grant, while Cloverdale will replace its 36-year-old grass model. In the past, both departments have relied on grants and fundraisers to help purchase equipment like air packs, radios and gear.
"This is our fourth grant this year," said Reelsville Fire Chief John McPherson. "We definitely needed this one (for the skid unit)."
The recipients of the 2010 volunteer fire assistance grants were selected based on population density, acres of public wildlands protected and wildlife fire reporting to Department of Natural Resources Fire Control Headquarters near Martinsville.
VFA grants may be used for training, installation of dry hydrants or to purchase fire fighting equipment and personal protective gear. The grants awarded ranged from $250 to $5,000 for a total of $318,210.
The Reelsville volunteer firefighters cover approximately 55 square miles in a single township and Cloverdale's department covers the town and township, Warren Township and Taylor Township in Owen County, which is about 94 square miles.
To help support any volunteer fire department, look for fundraisers such as monthly breakfasts, membership drives, chili suppers, golf scrambles and sausage and pancake suppers or others.