Merrill Fire Department receives Forest Fire Protection (FFP) grant
The Merrill Fire Department was recently notified of a grant award of $7,153.03 from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Fire Protection (FFP) Grant Program. The grant provides funding for the Fire Department’s wildland firefighting activities.
The Fire Department routinely seeks outside funding opportunities to leverage and stretch city and Fire Department funding. Over the last three years the department has been awarded more than $16,000 in funding from the DNR Forest Fire Protection Grant Program in varying amounts to purchase needed equipment, including new firefighting wildland turnout gear, firefighting foam, chain saw, chain saw protective equipment, firefighting gloves and hoods, and dry hydrants supplies for the areas served in the townships.
“All the funding from these grants has enhanced the response capacity for the fire department as they work to protect the citizens,” said Merrill Fire Chief Dave Savone.
FFP Grant funding is intended to expand the use of local fire departments to augment and strengthen the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) overall initial-attack fire suppression capabilities on forest fires and wildland fires. Annually, the Merrill Fire Department responds to various wildland fires. After conducting an assessment and prioritizing the needs of the Merrill Fire Department to be mission ready and to improve its wildland fire operations and firefighter safety programs this grant was applied for. The grant award is specifically for wildland firefighting tools, equipment, and personal protective equipment to increase the safety of our firefighters and their ability to protect the public they serve.
Personal Protection Equipment:
To increase Firefighter Safety and Protection we have included: Ear plugs, Brush Jackets and brush over pants and a storage bag for this PPE. This equipment will replace existing equipment that is over 10 years old and in disrepair. These items will allow us to become safer during training and emergency wildland operations.
The Merrill Fire Department strives to be a proactive leader in Fire Prevention. This past year the MFD have posted DNR banners for the wildland fire season on the MFD Facebook page. During the upcoming year with the grant award a Smokey Safety Sign will be erected to influence the passing motors of the fire conditions.
Tools and Equipment:
The balance of the supplies and equipment include Class A foam for firefighting and sheaths to protect existing wildland firefighting hand tools. These supplies, PPE and equipment will make the Merrill Fire Department better prepared for wildland firefighting activities.
”We are extremely grateful that the DNR has awarded the Merrill Fire Department this grant funding,” Savone said. “With these funds we will be able to continue our commitment to the protection of the citizens we serve in the rural areas.”
The Merrill Fire Department is an all-hazard emergency response organization that provides Fire Protection to the City of Merrill, the Towns of Merrill, Rock Falls and Scott. The Department also provides Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Services for the southern 59% of Lincoln County including the City of Merrill, the Towns of Birch, Corning, Harding, Merrill, Pine River, Rock Falls, Russell, Schley, Scott and parts of Harrison. The coverage area for EMS is more than 525 square miles with a population in excess of 20,000 residents.