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Deer Park Fire benefits from grants

Kevin Krueger (left), a captain with the Deer Park Fire Department, accepts a $2,500 check from an AgStar representative Rich Poppe.1 / 2
Deer Park Fire Department members Bill McClellan, Jesse Quist, Brenda Olson, Morgan Olson, Brad Wilbur and Jeff Croes show off the new turnout gear that is was purchased with the help of a $86,859 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The department purchased 32 sets of gear and a dirt extractor washing machine for the gear with the money. Local taxes pitched in $4,571 for the purchase.2 / 2

The Deer Park Fire Department recently purchased 32 sets of turnout gear for its members, thanks to a $86,859 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Local taxpayers pitched in about $4,571 toward the purchase of the gear, along with a dirt extractor washing machine for the gear.

The gear included boots, pants, jackets, helmets, hoods and gloves for each of the department members. The department's old gear was 12 years old and didn't meet current safety standards. The new gear is also lighter than the previous equipment, allowing firefighters to move quicker in emergency situations.

The new gear is not the traditional brown color the fire department has ordered before. Deer Park firefighters uniforms will now be red and black. The new gear also includes the last names of the members on the back of their coats, for quicker identification.

According to Duane Krueger, the fire chief, this is the department's third FEMA grant in eight years.

The department also received a $2,500 from AgStar to use toward the purchase of a corn bin extrication tool. The tool is used to rescue individuals trapped in corn bins or other farm equipment.