Rural Ohio Fire Departments Receive State Funding

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More than 65 fire departments serving rural communities in the state are getting a funding boost from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The ODNR’s Division of Forestry recently approved grant funding of more than $410,000 to aid in projects that include investing in personal protection and fire suppression equipment, obtaining utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), and upgrading communication systems, among other projects.

Area agencies receiving grants include:
• Pomeroy Fire Department – $10,000 to help purchase self-contained breathing apparatus air bottles.
• Syracuse Volunteer Fire Department – $5,000 toward the purchase of a slip-in unit for a UTV.
• Waterloo Volunteer Fire Department – $677.50 toward a UAV.
• Zaleski Volunteer Fire Department – $3,262.90 to support the purchase of digital radios.

“Rural fire departments protect, by far, the majority of land in Ohio, and the citizens that live out in smaller communities, they depend on these fire departments to provide protection. So, we’re trying to supplement the limited funds that they have,” Guess said.

The funds were made available through Ohio’s Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant program, which supports rural fire departments that serve communities with populations of less than 10,000 people.