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Bolivar Benefits from $600K Grant To Fire Department

The Bolivar Fire Department now has an extra $608,000 thanks to a FEMA staffing grant! It's not just the firefighters benefiting. This grant has far-reaching benefits for the entire community!
The Bolivar Fire Department now has an extra $608,000 thanks to a FEMA staffing grant!  The money is being used to hire nine new firefighters -- almost tripling the staff!  They currently only have five firefighters. 

It's not just firefighters benefitting from this.  It's businesses owners, fire victims, those in need of medical attention, and the community as a whole! This grant has far-reaching benefits.  "The citizens of the city deserve dedicated coverage and that's what this is really providing for the city," says Bolivar Fire Department Chief James Ludden.

Bolivar firefighters say they deserve the grant for many reasons. "Obviously only having one firefighter on staff on a 24/7 period -- supported with volunteers -- with a class city our size is probably one of the predominant factors," explains Chief Ludden.  It's a time consuming process for a single firefighter to inspect the truck and respond to emergency calls.  With this new grant firefighters can respond to emergencies much faster.  "With just one of us you kind of have your hands full.  You have to call and wait and hope things pan out in our favor," adds Lieutenant Adrian Brantley. 

"This [grant] would allow us to respond immediately with a crew of 4 which is a full engine company," explains Chief Ludden.  He says adding members to the team will shave two or three minutes off of response time.  This is huge considering a fire doubles every 60 seconds.  "If you're doubling the fire every sixty seconds and you have to wait three or four minutes for a responder to leave their work or their home or whatever they're doing, drop what they're doing, come to the station, wait for them to fill an engine and then respond to the fire, how many minutes are you behind that could've been life saving, property protection," says Chief Ludden.

Plus, the grant aids in the effort to rebuild the city by encouraging business in Bolivar.  "As a business owner coming to Bolivar we want to push that Bolivar is open for business.  Why would I bring my money, my investments and my business to Bolivar when we don't have a dedicated fire department?" adds Chief Ludden.  The new grant is great news for Bolivar business owners!

Bolivar fire department has 90 days to fulfill the hiring process. Chief Ludden says it should be a smooth process because they have plenty of volunteers qualified for the job.  The firefighters also want to remind us about their fireman's ball on February 15th.  You can enjoy live music, a steak and shrimp dinner, and proceeds go to the Keeling Foundation for Kids.  Check their Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bolivar-City-Fire-Department/163744003669101?hc_location=timeline
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