Rome Fire Department receives $5,000 grant from Georgia-Pacific

At front center, Troy Brock, Rome Fire Department Chief, shakes hands with Ken McDonald, Georgia-Pacific Rome lumber facility Plant Manager. Other Rome Fire Department personnel are (back row, from left) Division Chief Brad Roberson, Chief of Training Jamie Stone, Captain Ross Wyatt, Firefighter Todd Twilley, Battalion Chief Roger Haggard, Firefighter Allen Pippin, Firefighter Taylor Dowdy, Deputy Chief Curt Pierson and Battalion Chief D.W. Lee.

The Rome-Floyd County Fire Department is one of 43 fire departments across the country awarded Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade grants this year. The department will receive $5,000 to help fund equipment needs.

“Our local fire departments are a vital part of our community, so we are very pleased to help them stay well-equipped,” said Ken McDonald, plant manager at Georgia-Pacific’s Rome lumber 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. Since the program began in 2006, Georgia-Pacific has given more than $2.4 million in cash and educational materials to hundreds of fire departments that serve the company’s facility communities across the country.

The fire department says the grant will go toward the replacement of aging protective gear.

“We will use the new equipment to outfit our new recruits during their training,” said Fire Chief Brad Roberson. “We spend money each year repairing our old equipment when it really needs to be replaced.”

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, which provides access to tools, resources, programs and advocacy for first-responders across the nation.