COLUMBUS, OH The Upper Township Volunteer Fire Department in Lawrence County has received a trailer-mounted flood light system with generator and six self-contained breathing apparatus air bottles through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
This fire equipment, with an original value of $18,000, was made available by the U.S. Forest Service’s Federal Excess Personal Property program, which provides the equipment at no charge. The ODNR Division of Forestry administers the program in Ohio.
“This program helps local fire officials obtain important fire-fighting equipment that their limited budgets might not otherwise permit,” said John Dorka, chief of the Division of Forestry. “The budget for a typical Ohio rural volunteer fire department is $35,000 per year, with some fire departments operating on $10,000 or less annually.”
Items obtained through the federal program are provided to local fire departments under a loan agreement. When the equipment is no longer useable or desired, the fire department must return it to the ODNR Division of Forestry for disposal or reassignment. Since July 1996, local fire departments in Ohio have acquired more than $7 million of equipment through the program, including fire engines, tanker trucks, pick-up trucks, vans, portable generators and pumps, compressors, hoses, nozzles, protective clothing and safety equipment.
The Division of Forestry currently has cooperative wildfire suppression agreements with 325 fire departments located within the division’s fire protection area (eastern, southeastern, and the Maumee Forest area of northwestern Ohio).
Fire departments interested in additional information or in participating in the program should contact Rick Maier at 740-773-1574.