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PVFD Receives much-needed infusion

Generous donation by Frenchman Valley Coop and matching CHS INC grant assures necessary upgrades to PVFD equipment

The Potter Volunteer Fire Department recently received a donation of $10,000 from Frenchman Valley Coop, with the support of a matching grant from CHS INC Seeds for Stewardship. FVC Service Manager and Chappell VFD Fire Chief, Ryan Timm, presented the checks to the Potter Vol. Fire Department Fire Chief Mark Onstott. Chief Onstott had contacted FVC about the needs the fire department had for new equipment and their plans if they raised enough money to meet their goal.

Leann Weiss, a representative for FVC told the Sun-Telegraph, "FVC strongly believes in giving back to our communities. Management approved a donation of $5,000 to the Potter VFD. As a cooperative, FVC also has the ability to seek matching funds for donations to area non-profit and community organizations. Several weeks after completing the grant application, FVC was notified that CHS INC Seeds for Stewardship would match our $5,000 donation making the total amount presented to the Potter VFD $10,000." She went on to say, "FVC truly believes in supporting the communities where our employees and customers reside. Being able to help keep organizations like volunteer fire departments operational and efficient is vital for our rural life."

The PVFD plans to use the monies to upgrade their equipment to better serve the community. One of the requirements of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) is that all fire departments must keep within specifications, which means keeping all of their equipment updated; this would include Bunker Gear, Fire Apparatus, and all essential equipment needed in fire fighting. Unfortunately, the monies the department receives through local tax dollars is not sufficient enough to be able to purchase what is needed, and so as they budget each year, they usually try to replace the oldest of the equipment, while staying within the specifications of the NFPA.

In order to make certain that the vast needs of the department are met, they constantly apply for grants from entities and sources that are not only just local, but include sources within the State of Nebraska, and the entire United States as well. Some of the grants and matching dollars that are received must be used for specific needs. The PVFD currently has several items on their wish list, which include a compressor for filling Air Packs used during fire-fighting, Bunker gear which includes a set for interior fire fighting, and wildland gear, which is a little bit lighter in weight, but still approved protection for the firefighters. They also desperately need specialized equipment needed for extrication during automobile accidents, plus many more items that would benefit the department to better serve the community. A big item that is currently being spec'd out is for a new pumper, which would cost around $600,000.

The PVFD would like to thank Frenchman Valley Coop and CHS INC Seeds for Stewardship for their generous contributions. They said when the equipment is purchased, they will follow up to them and to the community with the information on what the funds had been applied to.


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