RFFD Helps Fight Pinnacle Mountain Wildfire
River Falls FD to receive nearly $5,000 in grants:
Forestry Commission awarding funds to help rural departments prevent/suppress fires
The South Carolina Forestry Commission administers the U.S. Forest Service’s Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program in the Palmetto State, awarding varying amounts of financial assistance to rural/volunteer fire departments every year. The grants – based on a 50 percent match – are used by the volunteer fire departments to organize, train and equip themselves to prevent and suppress wildfires.
The amount of the awards varies based on need, which is determined through a rigorous application and selection process. The VFA grant application is sent out each year in July and is due the end of September. Each application is reviewed and scored based on values that help the firefighting capability of both the fire department as well as the Forestry Commission. Some of these categories include population, years funded, annual budget and number of wildfires.
“This money will be put to use in a way that directly serves and impacts the lives and property we protect,” said River Falls Fire Department Chief Jason Gordon. “We are proud to receive this grant and look forward to continuing to work with the SC Forestry Commission in the future.”
RURAL FIREFIGHTING FACTS:
· Rural firefighting resources are often the first line of defense in meeting expanded protection needs for wildland-urban interface fires.
· Of the more than 35,000 local fire agencies nationwide, 75 percent are volunteer-based.
· They provide nearly 80 percent of initial attack on wildland fires in the United States.
· These departments provide, at no cost, wildfire and emergency protection service to 43 percent of the population, at an estimated value of $36 billion per year.
River Falls Fire Department covers a thirty-two square mile district from Highway 25 and Gap Creek Road to Caesars Head State Park and Moody Bridge Road on Highway 276. We also cover Jones Gap State Park and a portion of the Table Rock Reservoir.
Marion Cruell is the chief of the River Falls Fire Department. Currently, the firefighting roster consist of twenty-two members, seven trucks, and two fire stations. Station One is located at 602 River Falls Road, while Station Two is located in the 6300 block of Geer Highway, just below scenic Bald Rock.