SILEX, Mo — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) presented a $700 check to the Northwest Fire Protection District in Silex on Monday, July 18, for the purchase of six Nomex coverall’s. Nomex is a type of fire resistant clothing used in battling wildland fires. It is cooler than typical structure fire-fighting gear, which allows firefighters to work the longer hours typical of wildland fires.
The money is part of the Volunteer Fire Assistance Fire Department Matching Grant Program funded by the MDC and the U.S. Forest Service.
During June, July and August, MDC Forestry staff distribute matching-funds grant checks to rural fire departments. Statewide, 180 fire departments are receiving checks of up to $3,000 to help them purchase personal protective gear and firefighting equipment for both wildfire and structure fires. Fire departments are required to match these funds. The total funding for fire department matching grants this year is $378,264.
“The grant is designed to help fire departments purchase wildland fire suppression equipment that they would not otherwise be able to purchase due to their limited department budgets,” said MDC Forest Field Programs Supervisor Ben Webster.
During the last 28 years, MDC has distributed nearly $6.3 million to Rural Fire Departments to help them increase safety for their fighters and provide them with better firefighting equipment.