Duke RFD Receives Grant

Phelps County Associate Commissioner Gary Hicks with Meramec Community Enhancement Corporation and Ron Simpson with the Duke Rural Fire Department accept the ‘big’ check and the real check from MRCF Chair Vicki Lange. (Photo Submitted)

 Duke RFD receives $250 community grant
Caitlin Jones
Communications/Marketing Coordinator

ST. JAMES—Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded Meramec Community Enhancement Corporation a $250 grant for the benefit of Duke Rural Fire Department (RFD) and its project to build a new building. The check was presented at MRCF’s invite-a-friend luncheon March 12 at Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) in St. James. This year, the MRCF board reviewed a total of 18 grant applications, requesting a total of $4,414.21 and representing projects in Crawford, Dent, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties. The Duke RFD was one of six projects selected for funding.
Duke RFD plans to use the funds from the MRCF grant to help purchase building material. The small size of its existing structure makes it difficult for the small department to maintain and preserve its fire fighting vehicles and equipment. The new building will give the department a place to keep its vehicles under cover and better care for them, increasing response times and adding life to the vehicles currently owned. Firefighters have been delayed responding to emergencies due to weather conditions that inhibit immediate operation of vehicles. For example, the department’s pumper cannot be filled in the winter due to freeze threat and must be filled prior to arriving on scene at a fire adding significantly to response time. The new station would allow the department to protect its fleet of vehicles and access them more efficiently.
“This donation means movement in the positive direction towards our goal of housing all of our fire trucks by the end of this year,” Ron Simpson with the Duke RFD said. “We are very appreciative of any donation that helps us reach our goal.”
The Duke RFD covers a very broad, rural area of southern Phelps and Pulaski counties – an approximately 86 square mile area.
Those also wishing to contribute to the Duke RFD’s project, can visit www.gofundme.com/duke-rural-fire-department or contact Duke RFD Fire Chief Ron Wyatt.
Other recipients, receiving $250, include:
The Ozark Actors Theatre of Rolla for its Summer Theatre Academy;
Richwoods R-VII School District for its after-school snack program;
Belle Elementary School for coats and shoes for students in need;
Osage County R-I School District at Chamois for its Pirate Tinkerlab; and,
The Bourbon Boosters for ramps for the stage in the park.

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