Fire stories from the national parks highlight events, incidents, and the like, associated with fire and fuels management, as well as fire education, technology, partnerships, and more. Stories highlight work related to Department of the Interior initiatives as well as local and regional initiatives.
Volunteer Fire Departments Receive Rural Fire Assistance
Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri
National Fire Plan, Community Assistance*
Two volunteer fire departments (VFDs) that work cooperatively with the Missouri Park Group fire management staff, located at Ozark National Scenic Riverways, received grant funds in 2010 from the National Park Service for much-needed training and equipment. The grant funds are a result of the Rural Fire Assistance (RFA) program, appropriated annually by Congress. The RFA program is intended to increase local firefighter safety and enhance the fire protection capabilities of rural fire departments by helping them meet accepted standards of wildand fire qualifications, training, and performance for initial and extended attack at the local level. The RFA program supports the overall goals of the National Fire Plan by improving the capacity and capability of local fire departments to protect their communities from the effects of wildland fire.
Van Buren Volunteer Fire Department, located near park headquarters, was awarded $19,651 for the purchase of a slide-in pump unit, personal protective equipment, and firefighter training. The department proudly put the new slide-in pump unit installed in their brush truck nicknamed "The War Wagon" to good use during the recent fall fire season. Jadwin Volunteer Fire Department, located near the northern district of the park, received $10,000 that was used to help purchase a brush truck. In addition Van Buren VFD is using a portion of the grant funds to help provide S-130 and S-190 course materials to members of all local VFDs interested in completing the courses. Staff from the Missouri Park Group will present the field training for the VFDs.
Both Van Buren and Jadwin departments work cooperatively with the National Park Service to suppress wildfires in and adjacent to Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The Missouri Park Group staff administered the RFA program for the National Park Service in Missouri. Ozark Riverways Superintendent Reed Detring stated, "The opportunity for us to provide assistance to local fire departments is very gratifying. They operate on very limited budgets and it's often a struggle for them to identify supplemental funding. These departments are invaluable partners in helping us protect the nationally significant cultural and natural resources of Ozark Riverways."
Contact: Dena Matteson, Fire Communication and Education Specialist
Phone: (573) 323-8234 ext. 21