TEES helps volunteer fire department win grant
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Spur Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) in Dickens County has received a 2006 Assistance-to-Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The funded grant proposal was developed and submitted through a collaborative effort between Spur VFD and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Center for Community Support. This $114,157 federal grant will help purchase a 2007 Ford F-750 Wildland fire apparatus. Following the wildfires across North Texas in recent years, the need for this new fire unit for protecting human life, livestock and property became critical. The new fire apparatus will replace a 1968 surplus military truck the department obtained and modified almost 20 years ago for firefighting operations. The AFG program is a national grant competition where local fire and emergency service organizations apply to the federal government for assistance in purchasing vehicles, equipment and training. "These are highly competitive grants." said Kash Krinhop, assistant director of the TEES Center for Community Support. "Almost 20,000 applications were submitted last year, and only about 5,000 to 6,000 will be awarded in the country. In recent years, there have been many Texas VFDs benefiting greatly from the center's grant assistance. The assistance we offer gives these departments a competitive edge in getting these grants, which make a big difference in the public's safety across much of Texas." In 2006, the TEES Center for Community Support worked with 14 Texas VFDs in developing grant proposals, resulting in $540,000 to date for three fire apparatuses, equipment, protective gear and training. Since 2001, the center has worked with more than 100 VFDs and emergency service organizations, helping secure grants totaling more than $2.5 million for improvements in firefighter and public safety in Texas. The TEES Center for Community Support provides a broad range of information, data and proposal writing services at no cost for Texas community-based nonprofit organizations. Support is available to pursue competitive funding for programs designed to improve the quality of life for Texans. More than $32 million in federal and private grants have been garnered for Texas' nonprofit sector with the direct assistance of the center.