The contribution a fire department makes to the safety and well-being of community is of such basic importance that it is easy to take for granted. Anytime the capabilities of firefighters to do their job can be enhanced, everybody wins.
Consequently, it is very good news that the Otho Fire Department has been awarded a federal grant of $36,632 to upgrade its equipment.
Fire Chief Marty Smith told The Messenger that all 16 firefighters will get new protective coats, pants, boots, helmets, gloves and flame-resistant hoods. The Fire Department is providing a $1,928 match so the total money available for these purchases will be about $38,560.
"This is just one of the many ongoing costs of maintaining a viable emergency response for both fire and rescue protection of the public in our district and throughout Webster County," he said.
That's good news because much of the existing equipment is reaching the outer limit of its useful lifespan, according to Smith.
The federal grant was announced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It is part of a national effort to make certain first responders are outfitted adequately to discharge their crucial lifesaving functions.
The Messenger congratulates the Otho Fire Department on receiving this funding. This is government money well-spent.
Otho's fine firefighters have always done a splendid job serving their community. This grant will make it possible for them to continue that outstanding record for many years to come.