A federal grant totaling more than $273,000 will help fund various pieces of equipment and a truck for the East Oktibbeha Fire Department, fire officials said.
The $273,315 in funding go toward the following:
• Ten sets of firefighting personal protective equipment (coats, pants, boots, hoods and helmets).
• Two thermal imaging cameras.
• Firefighting PPE washer.
• Firefighting PPE drying system.
• Three wireless headset systems (to retrofit into existing fire pumpers).
• A 3,000-gallon water tanker, includes wireless headsets and a 500-gallon-per-minute pump.
The department will be required to pay a matching amount of $14,385, which will be raised through donations and fundraising efforts.
"This equipment will make an immediate impact on fire department operations and fits the department's goals of continuing to provide excellent service and lowering insurance rates," EOFD officials said in a statement issued Friday.
The department covers 75 square miles in Oktibbeha County, including the Belaire, Sessums and Osborn communities. EOFD is the primary fire department for several student housing developments, including 21 Apartments, Campus Trails and The Pointe. The department functions with mutual aid arrangements between the City of Starkville and neighboring fire departments.
Nearly 40 well-trained members serve the EOFD, including several Mississippi State University students, fire officials said. The membership is fully voluntary and none of those serving receive any stipend for rendering services, they said.
The East Oktibbeha Fire Department responded to more than 200 emergency calls, including structure fires, brush fires, motor vehicle accidents, emergency medical services and hazardous materials.