Hard work, dedication pay off for two local VFD's

From Staff Reports

Oct. 20, 2008 - Two local volunteer fire departments benefitted from $35,790 in grants, two from Texas Commission on Fire Protection and one from Texas Forest Service.

Cumby Volunteer Fire Department received a $8,000 grant from the Texas Forest Service for the purchase of a "Training Library."

"This grant will be used to purchase training material for the department to continue education and readiness for of our members," Cumby Volunteer Fire Department Chief David Weatherbee said.

Cumby VFD was also awarded $16,800 from Texas Commission on Fire Protection for the purpose of purchasing four self contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs). Brinker Volunteer Fire Department was also awarded $10,990 by TCFP to purchase seven sets of bunker gear and five SCBA face pieces.

"Eligibility to participate in this grant program is the tough part," said Weatherbee, noting that departments have to meet three set criteria in order to be apply for the grants from TCFP.

They must be NIMS (National Incident Management Systems) compliant with the Governor's Division of Emergency Management Office of Texas. Recipients must also be participating in an approved training program such as State Firemen's and Fire Marshal's Association (SFFMA), and be current on all dues and training. The third requirement is that the fire department actively report Texas Fire Incident Reporting System from Texas Department of Insurance data or National Fire Incident Reporting System data to the state of Texas. Department; submit reports of fires and other incidents to which they respond to TXFIRS and NFIRS using the standard format. TXFIRS and NFIRS maintains the records in a uniform manner and compiles statistics on fires in an effort to determine the impact of fire on lives and property in Texas and across the nation.

"All of these requirements take time, dedication to training, and the willingness to see these programs through. If you are willing to commit to the basics the Commission Grant program will pay off for your department and community," Weatherbee said.

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