Fritch VFD buys needed equipment thanks to grants

A volunteer fire department in Hutchinson County is awarded three grants in the same year by the same funding source (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

The Fritch Volunteer Fire Department is now able to purchase new equipment, gear and a wild land rig thanks to grant funding. The Texas A&M Forest Service awarded the volunteer department with three grants in one year. This is a first according to Fritch fire chief Ed Adamson.

“We’ve received grants from the Texas A&M Forest Service in the past but usually it's one grant and once you get the grant you're pretty well done,” said Ed Adamson, Fritch Fire Chief.

The department operates on a budget between $100,000 and $105,000 a year and currently has 30 volunteers. The new purchases will give the department what it needs.

“We have quite a limited budget,” said Adamson. “We have to stay within that budget to finish our year out so that we have enough money to finish the year.”

Adamson tells ABC 7 News despite being awarded the three grants, the department is pursuing other grants from agencies that provide funding to volunteer fire departments.

“We just get on the internet and see who is offering grants to volunteer fire departments,” said Adamson. “We plan to apply to those grants.”

Assistant Chief Rodney Kerbo tells ABC 7 News the department a new wild land rig is badly needed. The current fleet of 11 trucks are maintained by volunteer firefighters on volunteer hours. Trucks breaking down happens more frequently due to the rough terrain around the city.

“The terrain we go through you just can’t take a normal truck to it,” said Kerbo. “Our regular engines can’t make it to them and the wild land trucks will make it to them we can get there and take care of what we need to take care of.”

The Texas A&M Forest Service is providing more than $470,000 in grant funds for prescribed burns through Sept. 28. Volunteer Fire Departments and land owners can apply for funds that use professional prescribed fire services.

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