Grant helps PFD improve safety

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Present during the presentation of $1,000 in grant funds to the Piggott Fire Department were, from left: AFC County Ranger Tom Lindsey, Clay County Judge Gary Howell, Mayor Gerald Morris, assistant fire chief Brian Haley, State Representative Mike Patterson and Chris Pfeiffer of the AFC.

The volunteer members of the Piggott Fire Department will be able to perform their duties with improved protection and safety thanks to funds received through the Volunteer Fire Assistance Act and the National Fire Plan and administered by the Arkansas Forestry Commission. The department was presented with a check for $1,000 by AFC county ranger Thomas Lindsey Friday, Feb. 10, at the Piggott Fire Station.

Piggott Fire Department Chief Bradley Scheffler said the funds will be used to help purchase additional personal protection equipment for the department, including new gloves, hoods designed to better protect firefighters' heads and face shields.

"Every piece of equipment makes a big difference when you're fighting a fire," Scheffler said. "With the help of this grant, we're purchasing new items to help protect our firefighters."

Scheffler added the department actively seeks grant assistance in order to receive and maintain equipment.

Assistant fire chief Brian Haley, Piggott Mayor Gerald Morris, Clay County Judge Gary Howell and State Representative Mike Patterson were on hand to thank the AFC for its role in distributing the funds to Piggott. Lindsey and the AFC have a history of working with the Piggott department, assisting the PFD in purchasing a ladder truck in 2001.

The department also utilized funds dispersed by the AFC in the past to purchase a brush truck, which is able to reach more areas than a larger, traditional fire truck.

"We appreciate Tom (Lindsey) and the Forestry Commission for all they've done for our fire department and community through the years," Morris said. "This is just a small part of the work they do throughout our state."

Grants are a critical source of funds for the PFD.

"When you're a small community, you just don't have access to the type of funds they do in larger areas," Scheffler said. "Grants like this and other funds we receive through the state are a big source of the money we're able to use to buy the things we need. Every little bit helps on these grants. We try to apply for every little bit we can get."

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