Preble and Hoagland fire departments get grant funds

    Volunteer fire departments in Preble and Hoagland are among rural fire departments in 39 counties across Indiana to share in $242,000 in Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grants.
     The grants are administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Division of Forestry  Fire Control Headquarters and are made available through the United States Department of Agriculture's Forest Service.
     According to DNR spokesman Phil Bloom, staff members review grant applications and select recipients on the basis of population density, acres of public wildlands protected, wildland fire reporting to DNR Fire Control Headquarters and other parameters, with a focus toward protecting the state's wildlands.
     VFA grants may be used for training, installation of dry hydrants, or to purchase necessary firefighting equipment and personal protective gear. The grants awarded range from $265 to $5,000 and were given to 61 fire departments.
     The Preble Volunteer Fire Department was awarded $5,000 in the latest round of grant funding announced this week. The Hoagland Volunteer Fire Department received $3,652.
    Fire departments interested in applying for VFA grants may contact Crystal M. Hunt, program coordinator, Fire Control Headquarters, 6220 Forest Road, Martinsville, IN 46151, or call (765) 342-4701.