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Nokomis VFD receives Homeland Security dollars

By By Connie Nowlin
Managing editor
U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner announced the award of $6,878 to the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department from the United States Department of Homeland Security and the United States Fire Administration. The award was made Thursday.
The grant is being made available through the USFA's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and will be used for fire operations and firefighter safety.
"We are very excited about it," said Susan Eiland, a firefighter and EMT with Nokomis for about three years.
Eiland said the department had applied for the grant several months ago. Included in the proposal were a statement of need and what the money will provide,
"What we applied for were things we really needed and could not afford to buy," Eiland said.
Those things include a pump and drop tank to use on a truck from the Department of Forestry. The pump runs about $3,500 and the drop tank will provide a portable water source. The department will also buy helmets, a generator to light night operations, such as auto accidents, a vent fan and bolt cutters.
The later two items are required to improve the department's insurance service rating, which may in turn reduce insurance rates for area residents.
The money will also fund the addition of foam to one of the trucks so that the department may deal with hazardous material spills.
"I am extremely pleased the Department of Homeland Security has approved this funding for the Nokomis Fire Department," Bonner said in a press release. "As an area that is currently not served by any existing fire department, Nokomis and its residents are to be strongly commended for their work in recent years in creating and strengthening their own department and, through that process, providing a greater degree of safety and fire prevention for their community."