HARDY, AR (KAIT) - The Hardy Fire Department is about to purchase a lot of new equipment thanks to more than $70,000 in grants that it recently received.
The largest grant is from FEMA and will go towards several different things including new rescue equipment and parts needed to hook up a large generator to the fire station.
"When we had the ice storm years ago we were in a position where you're sitting here with a generator that's large enough to run it 50 feet from the building but we didn't have any power," Jackson said. "So we're actually wanting to hook that up to run the firehouse in any kind of disaster."
But Jackson said their most important purchase will be new turnout gear for the firefighters.
Their current gear is expired.
"And in order to train at any of the training facilities your gear must be up to date in order for them to let us get in there, so it's going to help on the training," Jackson said. "And also if you know that your gear is not in the best of shape it's in the back of your head when you're running into a fire."
Hardy is also now a Firewise community, something the fire department worked toward for more than a year.
"Going to every single house and studying it and finding out what, basically, is a hazard to each person," Jackson said about the process. "It lets the department know where our high-risk areas are and it also lets the citizens know if we've got an area that is dangerous or we feel like we can't get in there to fight a house fire."
Being nationally recognized by Firewise USA gave the department an initial $3,500 grant to buy new chainsaws, rakes, backpack blowers, and water packs to fight brush fires and wildfires.
They will now get $500 each year they meet the Firewise requirements.
The program also gives the department resources throughout the year to educate the community on fire safety.