Linden VFD receives Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade grant

Published 2:36 pm Monday, November 4, 2013

Shown from left are volunteer firemen Milton Vick and Mike Carlisle, GP Mill Manager Kelvin Hill and Linden Police Chief Scott McClure.

Shown from left are volunteer firemen Milton Vick and Mike Carlisle, GP Mill Manager Kelvin Hill and Linden Police Chief Scott McClure.

The Linden Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $4,100 grant for turnout gear as part of Georgia-Pacific’s Bucket Brigade grant program.

“Turnout gear is the only protection a firefighter has from the heat and flames,” said James Creel, Linden Volunteer Fire Department chief. “The new gear will ensure that our firefighters are getting the best protection possible, allowing them to perform their job better, safer and more efficiently.”

A record 55 fire departments will receive Bucket Brigade grants this year, totaling $270,000 — the largest amount awarded since the program began in 2006.

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This year also marked another important milestone: more than $1.25 million has been given out in cash grants to fire departments that serve communities with Georgia Pacific facilities.

“We’re proud to have the opportunity to help meet the significant needs expressed by our local community fire department,” said Kelvin Hill, vice president of GP’s Naheola Operation in Pennington. “The Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade grants allow us to invest in our community and create long term value in a specific area of need.”

The grants, generally ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, are based on need and are funded by the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and local Georgia-Pacific facilities.

This year’s program applicants requested funds to replace items such as worn out protective clothing, cracked helmets, aging hoses and nozzles, and hand-held radios – essential equipment that will help keep firefighters safer and make their jobs easier.

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) says about 70 percent of the more than one million U.S. firefighters are volunteers. Georgia-Pacific has partnered with the NVFC since 2008 to increase awareness about the grant program. Georgia-Pacific also gives all grant applicants free NVFC memberships, which provides access to tools, resources, programs and advocacy for first-responders across the nation.

“The NVFC is pleased to partner with Georgia-Pacific, which has donated nearly $1.5 million in grants, fire safety educational materials and memberships to local volunteer first-responder communities,” said Heather Schafer, NVFC’s executive director. “This support goes a long way in helping departments protect the communities they serve.”

The fire departments receiving grants this year span 21 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of building products, tissue, packaging, paper, cellulose and related chemicals. The company employs approximately 35,000 people worldwide. Georgia-Pacific is a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc., a privately-owned company headquartered in Wichita, Kan. Both companies have a strong tradition of focused community investment in communities where they have operations.