Florida’s rural fire departments received $11.2K million in federal excess firefighting equipment.
With the help of the Florida Forest Service, rural fire departments can get no-cost lease equipment for years at a time through the administration of Florida’s Firefighter Federal Excess Program.
Commissioner Adam H. Putnam at Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said that Firefighter excess program has been the backbone for rural and volunteer fire departments across the state.
“Our volunteer, local, and wildland firefighters risk their lives every day,” said Putnam, “I am proud we are able to partner with them to provide the resources they need to do their job.”
According to Putnam, the program was under attack last year by the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The pieces of equipment received from the excess program is screened by the Florida Forest Service to enhance emergency response capabilities for fire fighters.
“Florida’s small rural fire departments have invested their very limited budgets in this life-saving equipment for years,” said Jim Karels, State Forester.
The forest service has allowed rural department to obtain adequate fire suppression equipment for more affordable prices through the excess program.
“The Firefighter Excess Program results in significant savings for rural and volunteer fire departments,” said Karels, “Which, in turn, enhances their ability to protect the life, property and natural resources of Florida’s rural areas.”
The federal excess has supplied rural fire departments a vast amount of equipment including cargo, trucks, all-terrain vehicles, boats, and other emergency equipment and supplies.
“These trucks were chosen for their ability to strengthen the capabilities of our rural fire departments," said Matt Weinell, Fire Resource Manager at Florida Forest Service, “The Federal Excess Program is the foundation of many of volunteer fire departments throughout Florida.”
The Florida Forest Service manages over 1 million acres of public forestland and protects 26 million acres of homes, and natural resources from devastating aftermaths of forest fires.
For more information, visit http://www.floridaforestservice.com/