Ramona, Lehigh fire departments win grants
The state fire marshal’s office gave Ramona fire department a $7,077.48 grant to purchase four sets of wildland gear.
Lehigh Fire Department received $4,135.50 for three sets of wildland gear and $5,010 for an extractor washing machine.
The Kansas Firefighter Recruitment and Safety program has provided 98 washer and extractor machines to departments across Kansas since its inception in 2017. Having proper protocols to clean firefighting gear is crucial to preventing exposure to carcinogens, particulates, and biohazards that firefighters face.
The two Marion County departments are among 79 part-time fire departments to get awards in this year’s grants.
Statewide, $350,000 was given for safety gear, $45,000 for nine washer and extractor machines, and $4,000 for firefighter physicals.
Volunteer and part-time fire departments face recruitment and retention challenges because they do not have sufficient funding to provide safety equipment, fire marshal Doug Jorgensen said.
Volunteers provide their own safety gear, share gear with others, or do without.