Florida Forest Service and Firefighter Federal Excess Program Provide More than $11 Million in Equipment to Rural Fire Departments
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Equipment Used for Structure and Wildfire Suppression, Emergency Services and Natural Resource Protection
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today that Florida’s rural fire departments received more than $11.2 million in federal excess firefighting equipment in 2014. The Florida Forest Service has helped rural fire departments obtain no-cost lease equipment for decades through the administration of Florida’s Firefighter Federal Excess Program.
“The Firefighter Federal Excess Program, which was under attack by the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency last year, has been the backbone for rural and volunteer fire departments across the state,” Commissioner Adam H. Putnam said. “Our volunteer, local and wildland firefighters risk their lives every day, and I am proud we are able to partner with them to provide the resources they need to do their job.”
Each piece of federal excess equipment is carefully screened by the Florida Forest Service for its ability to enhance fire departments’ emergency response capabilities. Through the Firefighter Federal Excess Program, the Florida Forest Service has made it easier and more affordable for rural fire departments to obtain adequate fire suppression equipment.
“The Florida Forest Service relies heavily on its partnerships with local fire departments,” said State Forester Jim Karels. “Without the important resources provided by these programs, Florida’s rural communities would be vulnerable against wildfire and other critical incidents.”
In 2014, federal excess equipment supplied to Florida’s rural fire departments included cargo trucks, all-terrain vehicles, boats and other emergency equipment and supplies. Once supplied, fire departments convert federal excess vehicles and equipment into apparatus for structure fire suppression, wildfire suppression, emergency services and natural resource protection.
The Florida Forest Service manages more than 1 million acres of public forest land while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire. Learn more about the Florida Forest Service.