The Woodward Volunteer Fire Department has received a grant from the Forestry Bureau of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) thanks to the Woodward department’s filing regular reports on wildland fires.
The DNR grants, in cooperation with the US Forest Service, totaled $194,820 statewide. About 90 fire departments around the state received funding. Woodward’s award comes in the form of a 50 percent cost-share in the purchase of wildfire suppression equipment, personal protective equipment and communications equipment.
Woodward Fire Chief Ken Cavanaugh said the money would be used for radios, wildland hoses and other wildland firefighting gear.
"We buy the equipment ourselves up front," he said, "and then the DNR refunds half the cost."
Fighting wildland fires is a top priority of the Woodward department. Woodward Assistant Fire Chief Matt Cavanaugh and Fire Captain Karl Harris received extensive training this year in wildfire fighting at US Forest Service centers in Idaho and California. Cavanaugh served as an Emergency Medical Technician in Idaho and Harris was an engine boss in California.
Gail Kantak, fire supervisor with the DNR’s Forestry Bureau, said it is important for all fire department to submit Wildland Fire Reports whenever they respond to a wildland fire or provide assistance to a prescribed or controlled wildland fire.
Wildland fire reports are compiled locally and nationally and are reported to Congress.
Wildland Fire reporting forms are available at www.iowadnr.gov/fire. Departments actively returning these reports receive priority points when the Volunteer Fire Assistance grant applications are scored.