Grant Money Used Wisely in Walnut Ridge

September 8, 2006 -- 6:45 PM CDT

WALNUT RIDGE, AR -- Federal money from Homeland Security poured into some Region 8 fire departments after 9-11, and the Walnut Ridge Fire Department was one of those recipients as the department received several thousands of dollars in grant money to boost its security efforts.

"The city of Walnut Ridge and the surrounding community has been very fortunate in the last few years to receive almost $464,000 worth of grant money," said Chief Roger Duckworth of the Walnut Ridge Fire Department.

Duckworth said that the grants have benefited Walnut Ridge and Lawrence County.

"As chief of the department, it makes me feel real good...being able to aquire this money, and to be able to purchase much needed equipment for the area," he said.

The department has purchased four new vehicles within the past four years, a new fire truck and materials for the Haz Mat (Hazardous Materials) Team.

"Walnut Ridge started the Haz Mat Team long before 9-11, and we were already established," said Duckworth.  "We had some equipment, but we depended on a lot of other resources."

Since the grant money came rolling in, the fire department has its own Haz Mat trailor and truck.  The chief wants the community to know that the money was well spent.

"All the grant money has been spent," he said.  "We are in the process of working on another grant, so if that goes through, we'll have more equipmtment."

More equipment means that the department will have a better way of serving the community.