Area volunteer fire departments put grant money to good use

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Four volunteer fire departments in the Pampa area received a large grant from the Panhandle Wildfire Relief Program.

Miami, McLean, Lefors and Hoover volunteer fire departments received $36,000 each from the Panhandle Wildfire Relief Program.

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$36,000 is more than the Hoover Volunteer Fire Department's yearly budget. They will use the donation money for some much need upgrades. The department was able to replace it's old gear with new gear.

The Hoover Volunteer Fire Department's firefighting gear was over 10 years old and needed replacing. The department bought new structure and wildland fighting gear.

"The gear that we had came from 2006," said Chief Trent Price. "It is since outdated. All gear does have a shelf life on it, and with this we actually got over half the department suited out in new bunker gear."

Chief Price says he's very grateful because there's not a lot of funding for volunteer departments, leaving them to to depend mainly on grants and donations.

"I am very thankful," said Chief Price. "I mean without this, we apply for grants every year, several. It's rare that you hit 'em. I mean, especially something like gear. Without this, I don't know how we'd ever get the gear that we needed."

The best perk of the new digs is better safety.

"It will make us a lot safer," said Chief Price. "We have up to date gear. Gear changes every six months, just like your cell phone does. There's better stuff everyday made. Yes, it will protect them."

The firefighters have already put their new suits to use.

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