By Tammy Moore Teague
The White Bluff ‐ Rye Hill Volunteer Fire Department is one of 43 fire departments awarded Georgia Pacific Bucket Brigade grants this year. The department will receive $5,000 to help fund equipment needs, specifically full‐body protective gear.
“Our local fire departments are a vital part of our community, so we are very pleased to help them stay well‐equipped,” said Pat Sterner, plant director at Georgia‐Pacific’s Bradford Corrugated facility. “These grants express our thanks for their commitment to the people they serve.”
The Bucket Brigade program awarded $214,000 in grants to departments this year for equipment critical to firefighters’ safety. The fire department says the grant will go toward the replacement of full‐body protective gear that has exceeded the 10‐year lifespan set by the National Fire Protection Association. Each set costs more than $2,000.
“With 28 volunteer firefighters on the roster, it is vital that we do everything we can to protect their health and safety,” said White Bluff‐Rye Hill VFD President Dale Seiter. “This grant will be put to very good use.”
Grants are based on need and are funded by the Georgia‐Pacific Foundation and local Georgia‐Pacific facilities. Funds are typically used to purchase new protective clothing and replace items such as damaged safety gear and aging equipment.
Through the program, Georgia‐Pacific also gives all grant applicants free memberships to The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), which provides access to tools, resources, programs and advocacy for first‐responders across the nation.
The fire departments receiving grants this year span 20 states where Georgia‐Pacific has facilities: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Visit the Georgia‐Pacific Bucket Brigade website for more information about the program.