P-PFVFD receives grant for equipment

From Staff Reports

Oct. 6, 2006 - A local volunteer fire department will be purchasing equipment to refill air canisters thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland SecurityAssistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Pickton-Pine Forest VFD was allocated $15,200 of the $5,292,029 in one-year grants distributed among 43 fire departments, according to office of Kay Bailey Hutchison, U.S. Senator and Senate Appropriations Committee member.

Other East Texas departments receiving a chunk of the homeland security money include Bogata Fire & Rescue Dept., $49,279; Maud VFD, $17,765; and Wolfe City VFD, $34,630.

P-PFVFD grants writers Beth and Tracey Hankins indicated that the grant funding will be used to purchase a compressor and fill station to refill self contained breathing apparatus cylinders (often referred to as SCBAs).

"These bottles are used by our firefighters when entering an area where unsafe air quality exists such as a structure fire, automobile fire or where there has been a release of chemicals or gases. This FEMA grant is also a cost-share grant with P-PVFD being responsible for funding a portion of the cost of the equipment," said Pickton-Pine Forest VFD Chief Mark Sustaire.

Since 2002, Pickton-Pine Forest Volunteer Fire Department has also purchased automatic external defribilators, a rescue tool, a new pumper/tanker and a small brush truck from grants awarded by American Heart Association,Texas Department of Health, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program Grant from Texas Forestry Service,

The volunteer fire department is also planning its annual stew and chili supper, which will be held on Nov. 18 at Pickton Community Center. Members will begin serving up helpings of stew and chili beginning at noon and continue until it's all eaten.

"The fundraiser this year will help fund two additions to the fire department. P-PFVFD will be adding a new fire truck into service. Rescue 7 will be added to respond to all vehicle accidents and medical calls, it will also have fire fighting capabilities. This new fire truck is being added with the support of Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap and Commissioners Burke Bullock, Danny Evans, Don Patterson and Beth Wisenbaker. The money was allocated in this year's budget for the purchase of a cab/chassis. P-PVFD will be responsible for any upgrades to the cab/chassis and outfitting the truck with the rescue body and the remainder of the equipment. P-PVFD plans to have Rescue 7 in service by the middle of 2007," Sustaire said.

Stew and chili will be cooked in cast-iron pots by Bullock, Jace Anglin, Bill Egan, Gene Troutz and other community volunteers.

A silent auction will also be held during the stew/chili fundraiser. Items will be on display beginning the morning of the event and go to the highest bidder.

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