A series of grants awarded to the Springfield Fire Department (SFD) by the United States Department of Homeland Security will benefit Barry County residents.
Several local fire districts have partnered with SFD to receive grant funds for special equipment and training that will help prepare volunteers to respond to disasters like the tornado that hit Joplin in May.
"This is a regional grant," said Daron Evans, Cassville Fire Protection District administrator. "The Springfield Fire Department contacted us at the end of last year and asked if we would be interested in participating."
The grant helps establish Type I, Type III and Type IV teams, which are specially trained to respond to building and structural collapses. SFD will be trained as a Type I team, which means the department will receive the largest amount of rescue equipment and operation command training.
"The idea is that if a disaster, like the Joplin tornado, occurs and a community sends out a state-wide call for mutual aid everybody will be trained and ready to assist through a structured plan," said Evans. "Type IV is the basic level. Those teams will arrive and begin assessing the situation.
"Then the Type III teams will arrive with more equipment and begin the operation-level rescue efforts," said Evans. "When the Type I teams arrive, they will take over operations, and the Type III teams will fall back into a supporting role."
Fire departments located in Monett, Purdy and Shell Knob received grant funding for Type IV training and equipment. The Cassville Fire District received funding that will be used to develop a Type III team.