Across the state, fire departments are benefiting from the N.C. Forest Service’s Fire Department Assistance Program, which helps them obtain equipment, supplies and training.
“The Fire Department Assistance Program is a great partnership between fire departments, the Forest Service and the federal government,” said State Forester Wib Owen. “The equipment and training we are able to provide to fire departments, and the working relationships we build together, result in better wildfire control statewide.”
In total, 477 fire departments across North Carolina received some type of support from the N.C. Forest Service in the past year.
Among the highlights:
- The N.C. Forest Service provided fire departments with 139 pieces of equipment and vehicles through the U.S. Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program. The DOD passed ownership of the equipment, worth about $5 million, to local emergency response agencies.
- The agency loaned nine vehicles to fire departments through a federal program that uses excess equipment from military bases. The equipment is loaned to the receiving agency for as long as needed, then it is reassigned or returned to the U.S. Forest Service.
- The N.C. Forest Service purchased 6,040 gallons of Class A foam, totaling more than $73,600. The foam is obtained through a negotiated blanket purchase order and sold to fire departments at cost, helping them achieve substantial savings. Foam greatly increases the wetting capability of water, helping to slow the spread of a fire.
- N.C. Forest Service instructors taught 105 training classes to 1,709 firefighters across the state. The courses help departments safely, efficiently and effectively suppress wildland fires.