Federated Rural Electric, Jackson, recently presented a donation totaling $7,500 to four local fire departments Alpha, Ceylon, Lakefield and Northrop.

Federated took advantage of matching funds from two organizations to triple the impact. “Federated donated $2,500, then secured matching funds from CoBank’s Sharing Success Program and Basin Electric Cooperative,” stated Federated’s General Manager Scott Reimer. “Cooperatives are concerned about their local communities; we saw this as a way to help each fire department with costly equipment needs. This is the third year of helping our local fire departments; we will rotate this donation each year until we’ve helped all the fire departments in our service area.”

CoBank is one entity that provides Federated long-term financing for line construction projects, while Basin Electric is one of Federated’s wholesale power providers.

The Alpha Fire Department will buy hoses and nozzles with some of the donation. “We are also going to buy four mobile radios, stated Curt Endreson, Alpha’s fire chief. “We are also excited to buy four mobile radios for the following vehicles for better emergency response: our tanker, pumper, rescue and grass rig.”

The Ceylon Fire Department has been raising funds for a few years for a torpedo nozzle system.  “This nozzle has a spray of 20 feet in many angles,” stated Ellen Kling, Ceylon training officer. “It protects firefighters from running into an unsafe environment, as it knocks down the fire. Being a rural department, we don’t always have enough people to go in immediately.”

Meanwhile, the Northrop Fire Department will buy two new air packs. Each one costs $7,000. “Our air packs are over 15 years old,” said John Clymer, Northrop’s fire chief. “While we don’t use air packs often, they are critical at times for firefighting. This donation covers one and then the city and Fire Relief Associations funds will buy a second one. Both will be placed on our primary pumper so would be the first ones used when needed to enhance firefighter safety.”

Finally, the Lakefield Fire Department recently purchased new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). “This new gear required that we upgrade/replace our existing compressor and fill equipment,” stated Cody Poelaert, fire department treasurer. “This donation helps offset the cost of this important purchase.”