MAYPEARL — Ellis County Emergency Service District One was recently awarded a $15,000 grant for the purchase of rescue equipment, as part of the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, administered by Texas A&M Forest Service.

The grant was used to purchase rescue and extrication equipment that both replaces outdated equipment, and adds to the ESD’s rescue capabilities.

“We received airbags which are used for stabilization and to raise a vehicle.” “Not long ago we responded to a vehicle accident where the car over turned and the people were pinned under the vehicle. We had to call another VFD to come and lift the vehicle and they are about 25 miles away, Ellis County ESD Commissioner Jim Morrison said.”

Morrison is appreciative of the grant which also included a vent fan that will be used to pull smoke out of a building that has an active fire. It will increase the firefighter’s capability to get into the building to fight the fire and then the overhaul afterwards.

“Our area is farm land and farm to market roads, so our department mostly responds to wildland fire calls and motor vehicle accidents with the occasional structure response,” Morrison explained. “The cost share grant from Texas A&M Forest Service gives us the tools that we need to respond to those type of calls, and we are now the only department in our mutual aid area to have this type of equipment.”

Texas A&M Forest Service is committed to protecting lives and property through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, a cost-share program funded by the Texas State Legislature and administered by Texas A&M Forest Service. This program provides funding to rural VFDs for the acquisition of firefighting vehicles, fire and rescue equipment, protective clothing, dry-hydrants, computer systems and firefighter training.