March 5, 2008 Edition

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WRFD awarded FEMA Grant

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff writer

The Walnut Ridge Fire Department has received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in the amount of $114,303. The grant will be dispersed to the department in the next few months and will be used for purchasing new turnouts, a cascade system (air fill station) and protective and communication equipment such as radios and pagers.

"We are very excited to receive this grant," Walnut Ridge Fire Chief Alan Haskins said. "It's a very competitive grant to receive, and fire stations throughout the United States apply for it. This is the second time our department has been awarded this grant.

"We have a very well equipped fire department with our HazMat team, ladder truck and three substations. I feel we're one of the best departments in the state."

GIF Fire Protection Grant

On Feb. 21 the Walnut Ridge City Council passed a resolution authorizing Mayor Michelle Rogers to apply for state grant funds for the Walnut Ridge Fire Department. The grant would give $21,046.40 to aid and assist the fire department in executing a proposed project that would help maintain water pressure to the NorthRidge addition in case of fire.

"If we receive this grant, we will use it to change a dead end water line in the NorthRidge addition into a loop so we would be able to sustain better pressure in case of a fire in that area," Haskins said.

The city's ISO rating is currently a five, and Haskins said the fire department's goal is to bring it down to a three, which would lower insurance costs for the citizens of Walnut Ridge.

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