Greene County Fire Department awarded grant

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 fire department will soon get a new home. The Greene County Fire Department was recently awarded a $15,000 grant.

This money is being used to help replace Western Greene County's Fire Station #3. Volunteer fireman Bart Rowe says this is something that's been needed for some time. "This is going to allow us to not only better serve this community, but all the other communities around, " Rowe said. "We operate four stations. And out of those four this one that will be replaced, the new trucks we buy now wouldn't fit in them, the concrete was cracking, the retainer wall had fallen down and it was time to move up and move on."

Greene County Judge Jerry Shipman says Rowe is right. "It's an underground site and it's very outdated. So, now, they're putting up a new facility and moving their location to a place that's more centrally located that they can get in and out of easily."

Western Greene County's Fire Station #3 was built in the early 1980s and only has one bay. Judge Shipman says helping their volunteer firemen and fire stations expand as needed is vital to all the communities they work to serve.

"You've got to have rural fire protection. It's just real important. You know fire can come unexpectedly and it can just move so swiftly that you have to be prepared to go."

Rowe says the new facility is going to make a huge difference in their day to day operations. "The old station has only one bay and so could house only one truck. Now, that we're expanding we're adding additional bays and will be able to serve the community better. Paragould is moving to the west and the number of homes in this area keeps increasing. This means we need to keep increasing our equipment and the number of fireman to meet those needs."

They applied for the grant in August and received the money last Wednesday. The grant was awarded through the Arkansas Rural Community Grant Program.

The money from this grant will be used for the completion of this project. For more information about the Arkansas Rural Community Grant Program, log onto their website.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.