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The National Park Service announced today that both the Beverly Shore Volunteer Fire Department and Pines Volunteer Fire Department have been awarded a total of $13,700 as part of the Department of the Interior’s Rural Fire Assistance program. The grant is given to volunteer fire departments that protect rural communities and play a substantial cooperative role in the protection of Federal lands such as Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
The Rural Fire Assistance Program is primarily designed to increase firefighter safety and enhance wildland fire protection capabilities of rural fire departments by assisting those departments in meeting or exceeding accepted standards of wildland fire qualifications, training, and performance. “We are pleased to be able to help with the safety of all firefighters through training and ensuring that all firefighters have the appropriate wildland fire equipment,” stated National Lakeshore Fire Management Officer Dan Morford. “The National Park Service looks forward to continuing our strong partnerships that serve the local communities and the wildlands of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore," said Superintendent Constantine Dillon. Local firefighters often participate in training conducted by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the NPS provides expertise at the Duneland Fire School.
Since 2001, National Park Service has awarded over $100,000 in Rural Fire Assistance Grants to local volunteer departments associated with Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore including Hobart, Ogden Dunes, Burns Harbor, and Porter as well as this year’s recipients.
The Rural Fire Assistance Program is a matching grant program. This grant will allow local departments to improve their wildland fire personal protective equipment such as goggles, fire resistant clothing and emergency fire shelters, along with purchasing equipment to improve training opportunities.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 391 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes, and prairie in the northwest corner of Indiana. More than 2 million visitors come to this national park each year.