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Local departments awarded part of $746K Compeer grants
From left: Blanchardville fireman Travis Leonard, Compeer Financial Loan Officers Anne Schultz and Erin Mullett, Blanchardville Fire Chief Rolly McGowan and fireman Jack Fisher.

BRODHEAD — Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America, the Farm Credit cooperative’s giving program, has awarded 177 grants as part of their Emergency Response Equipment Program, including 15 new collaboration grants for equipment shared by multiple departments.

Emergency Response Equipment Grants help to offset the cost of equipment that community emergency response departments need to carry out their important work throughout rural America. Additionally, the new Emergency Response Equipment Collaboration Grant highlighted the critical need for teamwork between volunteer fire, rescue and ambulance departments when responding to emergencies.

 “We know rural departments often share resources and important pieces of life-saving equipment,” said Karen Schieler, senior corporate giving specialist with Compeer Financial. “The spirit of collaboration is strong for emergency departments across Compeer’s territory and we hope these grants can help impact even more lives. First responders give so much when people are in need, and these tools and resources will help in critical situations.”

Brodhead Area EMS, Gratiot and Blanchardville Fire Departments were Local Recipients of the grant program.

●  The Blanchardville Fire Department used the grant funding to help cover the costs of a new positive pressure fan — a piece of equipment used to blow smoke out of the area affected by fire. The new fan will be smaller and lighter weight than the current one on hand, allowing the capability for one individual to carry the fan as well as allowing it to fit the fire department’s new fire truck. The new fan will have a rechargeable battery and the ability to attach a hose with a misting tool on it as well.

●  The Gratiot Fire Department used the grant funding to purchase a kit with additional ropes, hardware and pulleys to be utilized in both grain and water rescue missions. The Gratiot Fire Department is one of the few rural fire departments in the area with a certified diver on staff. The new equipment purchased will help them to be more effective in the event of a water emergency.

●  The Brodhead Area EMS team used the grant funding to purchase additional vehicle mounted mobile radios and EMT handheld portable radios that are compliant with the upgrade to Green County’s digital radio system. The new radios will allow EMTs on scene to have a reliable means of communication when working with dispatch, other personnel on scene as well as neighboring districts during the event of a call.

The 2022 Emergency Response Equipment Collaboration Grants are for up to $10,000 and will directly impact 41 collaborating departments, 872 department members, 3,239 square miles of coverage and 121,007 residents. This year was the first time this grant was offered.

Compeer Financial is a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. The $27.3 billion organization provides loans, leases, risk management and other financial services throughout 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Based in the Upper Midwest, Compeer Financial exists to champion the hopes and dreams of rural America, while providing personalized service and expertise to clients and the agriculture industry.

Compeer Financial is the third largest cooperative of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending institutions supporting agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. Learn more about Compeer Financial.