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Every day, millions of people count on volunteer and rural community fire units to protect them and their property. More than 825,000 volunteer and small town firefighters do their jobs mostly without recognition and often without the latest equipment or training.
The Sweetwater Fire Department has won a 2010 Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigadeâ„˘ grant. Chosen from more than 120 applicants in Georgia-Pacific facility communities in 23 states, the unit received $5,000 to purchase new equipment and gear.
â€śThis grant really comes in handy, especially at this particular time because the Texas Commission on Fire Protection has changed the rules regarding bunker gear and protective equipment,â€ť said Grant Madden, fire chief at Sweetwater Fire Department. â€śBeing a small department, it is hard to afford the updates and new regulations imposed on us. The Bucket Brigade grant has made it possible for us to cover that gap.â€ť
According to the National Volunteer Fire Council and the National Fire Protection Association, fire and rescue units with volunteers make up 86 percent of all firefighting units in the United States.
For the fifth year Georgia-Pacific, through its Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigadeâ„˘ initiative, is awarding more than $100,000 in grants to help small town and rural community fire departments across the United States meet their most critical needs. This year's grants will total $175,000, the largest amount awarded in the program's history.
â€śThe Sweetwater Fire Department does a great job for Georgia-Pacific and our community,â€ť said Jimmie Kingston, plant manager in Sweetwater. â€śThey work with us to strengthen our confined space program and are always readily available. We are lucky to have such dedicated and talented individuals servicing us.â€ť
"We know first-hand the significant role these fire units play in the life of a community. The Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade is one way we say 'thank you' for their work," said Jim Hannan, CEO and President of Georgia-Pacific. "Many of our own employees are members of their local fire and rescue units, so we also know the need for the financial support necessary to safely continue the work these departments do."
Launched in 2006, the Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade has contributed more than $600,000 to rural and small town fire units in communities with Georgia-Pacific facilities. The program supports firefighters with cash donations for programming and purchasing necessary equipment, and with materials for fire safety education in local schools. This year's 25 Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade winners were chosen from more than 120 applicants in 23 states.
The 2010 Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade grant winners were Ashford Fire Department in Ashford, Ala., Enterprise Volunteer Fire Department in Clanton, Ala., Excel Fire Department in Excel, Ala., Flomaton Fire Department in Flomaton, Ala., Putnam Volunteer Fire Department in Thomasville, Ala., City of Madera Fire Department in Madera, Calif., Avalon Volunteer Fire Department in Milton, Fla., West Putnam Volunteer Fire Department in Hawthorne, Fla., Clay County Volunteer Fire Department in Fort Gaines, Ga., Jasper County Fire Department in Monticello, Ga., Olive Fire Protection in Livingston, Ill., Bluff Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Clinton, La., New Augusta Volunteer Fire Department in New Augusta, Miss., Mooers and South Plattsburgh Fire Departments in Champlain, N.Y., Climax Fire Department in Climax, N.C., Conway Fire Department in Conway, N.C., Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department in Hulbert, Okla., Clatskanie Fire Department in Clatskanie, Ore., Eagle Fire Company #1 in Mt. Wolf, Pa., Allendale County Fire and Rescue in Allendale, S.C., Sweetwater Fire Department in Sweetwater, Texas, Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department in Ridgeway, Va., Washaugal Volunteer Fire Department in Washaugal, Wash., Oconto Falls Fire Department in Oconto Falls, Wis. and City of Peshtigo Fire Department in Peshtigo, Wis.
Headquartered at 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 more than 40,000 people at approximately 300 locations in North America, South America and Europe. Georgia-Pacific creates long-term value by using resources efficiently to provide innovative products and solutions that meet the needs of customers and society, while operating in a manner that is environmentally and socially responsible and economically sound. The familiar consumer tissue brands of Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP include Quilted NorthernÂ®, Angel SoftÂ®, BrawnyÂ®, enMotionÂ®, SparkleÂ®, Mardi GrasÂ® and Vanity FairÂ®.Â Dixie Consumer Products LLC, a Georgia-Pacific company, manufactures the DixieÂ® brand of tabletop products. Â Georgia-Pacific has long been among the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of building products to lumber and building materials dealers and large do-it-yourselfÂ warehouse retailers, with brands such as PlytaniumÂ® plywood, DryPlyÂ® water repellent plywood, Ply-BeadÂ® panels and Wood I Beamâ„˘ joists offered by Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC and DensArmor PlusÂ® interior panels, DensGlassÂ® Sheathing and ToughRockÂ® drywall offered by Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC.Â For more information, visit www.gp.com, www.facebook.com/georgiapacific or www.twitter.com/georgiapacific.