Grants provide welcome boost to Otho, Lohrville fire departments

State money will help pay for equipment

Mention the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and for many people the first thing that comes to mind are the state parks. Fishing licenses and efforts to stop pollution are other things the department is well known for. But few probably realize that it has a role in supporting rural and wildland firefighting efforts.

The fire departments in Otho and Lohrville have recently benefitted from the support of the DNR. Both received grants to help them pay for needed equipment.

The Otho Fire Department received $2,239. It will be used to help pay for new digital radios.

The Lohrville Fire Department received $2,040. It will help pay for two chain saws, four GPS units to be installed in fire trucks, two handheld radios and 10 nozzles and fittings.

Both departments had to chip in an equal amount of their own money to match the grant. These grants are critical for the two departments that have definite equipment needs, but usually don’t have a lot of money to pay for those needs.

The firefighters in Otho and Lohrville don’t respond to as many calls as their counterparts in more populated areas, but that doesn’t mean those emergency situations are any less dangerous. The risks to firefighters and civilians are just as great as those faced in bigger communities. The firefighters need to be well-equipped to deal with them and the DNR grants make that possible. And let’s not forget that these communities are protected by small groups of people who spend hundreds of hours away from their families every year, training and responding to emergencies.

They deserve our respect.


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