Eastern Douglas County fire unit gets national recognition

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DRURY, Mo. – Fire safety and good food will be the focus of a special event to be held Saturday (Nov. 7) to recognize the Eastern Douglas County Volunteer Fire Department.

On this day, volunteer firefighters of the Eastern Douglas County Volunteer Fire Department will be honored by Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) officials for achieving Firewise Communities USA status. The public is invited to attend the event, which starts at 5:30 p.m. with a chili supper and will be followed by an auction and an awards presentation ceremony. The event will be held at the Vanzant Community Center, located on Douglas County Highway W, just off of Missouri 95 in Vanzant. One of the highlights of the evening's events will be the presentation of a plaque to the Eastern Douglas County Volunteer Fire Department, which is headquartered in the nearby Douglas County community of Drury.

The Firewise Communities USA/Recognition Program is a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) program co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Association of State Foresters. It is a nation-wide initiative designed to encourage and acknowledge community action that minimizes home loss to wildfire. This program is of special interest to small communities and neighborhood associations that are willing to make efforts to mitigate hazards and, thus, lower the risk of home damage from wildlfire. Mitigations involve adopting various techniques and implementing specific programs tailored to the hazards that are unique to the communities within the district. More information about this national program can be found at www.firewise.org.

With the help of staff from MDC, U.S. Forest Service and the Southwest Missouri RC&D, the Eastern Douglas County Fire Protection District developed a proactive multi-step plan focused on taking steps that would reduce vulnerability of structures and raise awareness about fire safety through ongoing education programs.

For more information about this event or about the implementation of the Firewise Communities USA/Recognition program in Missouri, contact Missouri Department of Conservation Fire Program Supervisor Ben Webster at 573-522-4115, ext. 3113.