Equipment loaned to Windsor VFD

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

CHILLICOTHE – Excess property from the U.S. Forest Service will help the Windsor Township Volunteer Fire Department battle future blazes.

U.S. Forest Service officials announced last week that the fire department had received a 2 1/2 ton all-wheel-drive cargo truck, along with a 600-gallon water tank – equipment that has an original acquisition value of more than $43,000.

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The vehicle and water tank were made available by the Forest Service’s Federal Excess Personal Property program, which provides vehicles and other fire fighting equipment to rural fire departments at no charge. The program is administered in Ohio by ODNR.

"We are committed to helping local fire departments effectively perform their duties with limited budgets," said Ron Abraham, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. "This program provides valuable resources to assist local fire departments in providing wild land and rural community fire protection."

Of the nearly 1,300 fire departments within Ohio, some 900 are classified as rural and are primarily staffed by volunteers. The average budget for an Ohio rural fire department is $24,000 per year, with many fire departments operating on $5,000 or less annually.

The Division of Forestry currently has cooperative wildfire suppression agreements with 325 fire departments located within the division’s fire protection area (eastern and southeastern Ohio). At this time, the program is available to fire departments located within this fire protection area.

Since July 1996, more than $4 million worth of equipment has been acquired and loaned to local departments by the ODNR Division of Forestry.

Items obtained through the federal program are provided to fire departments under a loan agreement. When the equipment is no longer usable or desired, the fire department must return it to the Division of Forestry for disposal or reassignment.