JRFD purchases new equipment with grant, GRE donationThe Jamestown Rural Fire Department has new equipment to help it provide fire protection at Spiritwood Station paid for with state grant funds and a donation from Great River Energy.
By: By Chris Olson, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown Rural Fire Department has new equipment to help it provide fire protection at Spiritwood Station paid for with state grant funds and a donation from Great River Energy.
Fire Chief Rick Woehl said the department applied for a grant through the North Dakota Forest Service’s Rural Fire Assistance Grant Program last spring to address a specific need at GRE’s Spiritwood Station. The forest service is administered through North Dakota State University.
The coal-burning power plant has hydrants, which is new for the rural fire district. Spiritwood Station is currently not operating, according to Paul Solomonson, the plant engineer for the station. He said they are waiting for market conditions to improve before bringing it on-line.
“We carry all our water supply with tanker trucks to all our fire calls,” Assistant Chief Brian Paulson said. “We don’t usually deal with hydrants.”
Paulson said the district covers about 828 square miles.
Woehl said the equipment — 500 feet of new 5 1/2-inch-wide hose and new intake valves for each truck — allows the department to hook up its two pumper trucks to hydrants at Spiritwood Station.
Solomonson said the station has a water supply system on site and can suppress a fire should one arise.
But, he said, the company needed a backup plan.
“We got talking to them about what we need and what they need,” Solomonson said.
The result was the department applying for the forest service grant and receiving $7,500 from the state agency. Great River Energy provided $7,500 for the local match.
“We are a member of this community and want to be a good community member,” Solomonson said.
The two entities are working through a two-year plan to address the department’s different needs. The hose and related equipment were the first part of the plan. The second part will include applying for more grant funds to buy a ground monitor. Paulson said this device allows department members to monitor and fight a wildfire from a remote location.
“We can put water on a wildfire and keep track of it,” he said. Paulson did not know how much the device cost or how much the department will be seeking in the second grant.
“We need to meet with Great River and figure out the details on this second grant,” he said.
Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org