1st Assistant Chief Chad Ottmann, left, and 2nd Assistant Chief Dan Athen, right, are presented two conservation grants for both the Rock Port Volunteer Fire Department and West Atchison Fire District from Conservation Agent Dylan Klawuhn, center.

During July and August, matching funds grant checks for rural fire departments are being distributed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, Forestry Division staff.
A total of 174 fire departments are receiving checks for up to $4,000 to help with the purchase of personal protective gear, communications equipment and wildfire suppression equipment to help increase the fire departments capacity to suppress wildfires safely and efficiently.
West Atchison Rural Fire District received $882.40, and the Rock Port Volunteer Fire Department received $1,955.40.
The total funding awarded to Missouri fire departments through the matching funds grant program this year is $389,603.56.
Fire departments are required to match 50% of the funds which are provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Forest Service, Volunteer Fire Assistance Program. Throughout the last 30 years, over $8 million has been distributed to rural fire departments to help them increase the safety of their firefighters and provide them with better firefighting equipment.