Missouri American Water presented a check for $1,200 from its Firefighter Grant Program to the Hazelwood Fire Department, (HFD). These funds will be used by the department to cover the cost of training new recruits as well as veteran firefighters.
Launched in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week in October 2010, Missouri American Water’s Firefighter Grant Program provides financial assistance to fire departments and districts serving communities in the company’s service areas. In its four-year history, the Firefighter Grant Program has awarded approximately $130,000 to 103 fire departments and districts across the state of Missouri.
According to Hazelwood Fire Chief Dave Radel, “The partnership between the Hazelwood Fire Department and Missouri American Water is of great value to the residents we protect on a daily basis. Not only does Missouri American Water provide the highest quality of water and service to them, but the company also operates the water systems and grids that enable us to extinguish fires and reduce the damage to their homes and businesses when emergencies occur. The generous $1,200 grant check we received from Missouri American Water will allow us to offer more training to our firefighters so they’re fully prepared, at a moment’s notice, to answer an Emergency 911 call and provide the best service possible.”
Battalion Chief Tom Stone is the department’s training officer and the one who submitted the application paperwork for the grant money. The HFD was one of only 24 across the state of Missouri that received a $1,200 grant from Missouri American Water in 2014. A committee reviewed the applications and based its decisions on people’s legitimate needs and requests.
“This grant will allow us to continue our interdepartmental training program with the Robertson Fire Protection District, which is one of our neighboring mutual aid departments that services part of our city. We bring in outside instructors to provide structured training in a classroom setting for firefighters with both Hazelwood and Robertson. One month, we’ll have the training here and the next month we go to Robertson. Since firefighters from both departments may end up working together on the scene of an emergency situation, it’s best that they train together so they become familiar with each other’s equipment,” Battalion Chief Tom Stone said.
“We have had at least three of our senior firefighters with over 30 years of experience announce their retirement recently, and we’ve had to hire new recruits to replace them who have limited fire ground operations experience. This grant money will be used to train the next generation of firefighters in our department,” Battalion Chief Stone added.