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Grant helps Heuck’s VFD buy equipment

Heuck’s Retreat Volunteer Fire Department is one of 23 firedepartments in Mississippi to receive a portion of nearly $3million in federal funding.

“This grant provides a great opportunity for the department andthe people of Lincoln County by providing basic firefightingequipment to better protect the people we serve,” said Heuck’sRetreat Fire Chief Jim Craig.

The Lincoln County fire department was awarded $51,395, with a 5percent local match of $2,705. The funding will be administeredthrough the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance toFirefighters Program.

“We were tickled it was only 5 percent this time,” Craig said.”This is the second time we have been fortunate enough to receivefederal funds through this competitive process to assist inproviding much needed equipment to outfit the firefighters and firetrucks of the department.”

The department received a similar grant in 2004 with a 10percent match, Craig said.

“This grant is for some of the same type of equipment that weused from the other grant to outfit the new truck. This time we’reoutfitting a used truck that we purchased last year,” he said.

Fire hoses, foam equipment, hose nozzles, a positive pressureventilation fan, portable radios, self-contained breathingequipment and turnout gear will be purchased with the grant fundsto equip the truck for the new station, Craig said.

The truck is part of the fire department’s preparations to opena satellite station near Lake Lincoln, said Lt. Carl Diamond.However, the equipment will be used at the main station now.

Diamond said distance between the main station and the LakeLincoln area slows response times and the department is trying toincrease its presence in that area.

“It’s much quicker to respond if you have a truck and volunteersin the area,” he said. “We’ve acquired the land, but we still needto raise the money to build the station.”

Two Pike County departments received more than $400,000 infunding through the grant. Progress VFD was awarded $200,783 andRural Osyka VFD received $199,296 in funding through the Assistanceto Firefighters Program.