PFD receives equipment grant

Thursday, January 19, 2012
The Piggott Fire Department recently received $2,500 in grant funds for the purchase of equipment. Shown here at the check presentation are, from left: Fire chief Bradley Scheffler, Kimberly James of the East Arkansas Resource Conservation and Development Council, mayor Gerald Morris and PFD member Brian Haley.

The Piggott Fire Department recently received a grant which will allow for the purchase of improved equipment. Through a $2,500 Rural Fire Protection Program grant presented to the department on Jan. 10, the department will be able to purchase new hoses, nozzles and gate valves for its fire trucks.

"These things will help us better outfit our trucks," chief Bradley Scheffler said. "With the grant we received, there was a special list of items which we could use this money to buy. We were able to find some things we needed, so it worked out really good."

The Piggott Fire Department's funds were part of a $175,000 total collected through Act 864 of the Arkansas Legislature. The funds are transferred through the Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission and are administered by the Arkansas Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils. Kimberley James of the East Arkansas Resource Conservation and Development Council visited Piggott to personally present the funds to Scheffler.

"We thank chief Scheffler and all the volunteers of the Piggott Fire Department for the work they do in protecting their community," James said. "We're proud to be able to assist them in their efforts."

Capt. Dane Coomer of the Piggott Fire Department served as the grant writer for the funds. Coomer completed the necessary paperwork, which was submitted for approval this past October.

"We're a small community and the city is limited in our budget," Scheffler said. "Grants like this are critical to helping our department. Money isn't always easy to come by for small departments like ours. It gives us better equipment to work with and helps retain the volunteers we have."

Scheffler expressed gratitude to Coomer for his work in preparing the grant. The chief also extended thanks to State Representative Mike Patterson for his role in the legislature which made the grant funds available.

The Piggott Fire Department not only maintains a constant presence within the city limits, but also shares coverage over territories of Clay County with other area departments. Piggott also participates in mutual aid agreements with other area departments in the event of an emergency.

"We're all small departments and sometimes we've got to work together," Scheffler said. "We've got good working relationships with the other departments in our area. Everybody is willing to lend a hand and help out when the time comes."

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