By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
There was a lot to celebrate at Saturday’s annual soup supper hosted by the Lamar Volunteer Fire Department (LVFD).
In January, the department put into service a 3,000 gallon tanker truck, thanks to the generosity of Frenchman Valley Coop (FVC).
Also, in a special presentation Saturday night, the department received a $2,500 check donation from Chase County farmer Rita Hogsett and America’s Farmers Grow Communities program sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.
The donation will help the department pay for its upcoming fire and grain bin rescue training. Training is offered in Kearney and prepares fireman for specific rescue situations.
“We do this annual training each March,” said Lamar Fire Chief Tyler Stanley.
“Our department has never rescued a farmer from a grain bin, but we are located in a farming community where there are many of them,” he said.
The day-long course will provide real life situations by using grain bin simulators, live fires and rescue dummies. The department will use its own equipment to practice each situation.
The $2,500 check came from America’s Farmers Grow Communities, which for five years has collaborated with farmers to donate over $16.5 million to more than 7,300 community organizations across rural America.
This year, winning farmers such as Hogsett will direct another $3.3 million to nonprofits to help fight rural hunger, purchase lifesaving fire and EMS equipment, support ag youth leadership programs and buy needed classroom resources.
America’s Farmers Grow Communities is part of the America’s Farmers initiative. Since 2010, the America’s Farmers campaign and programs have advocated on behalf of farmers and their efforts to meet society’s needs through agriculture.
A sister program in the America’s Farmers effort, Grow Rural Education, is currently in its farmer nomination phase.
Farmers interested in supporting math and science education in their communities should visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com from now through April 1 to learn more.
New water truck
One of the Lamar firefighters, former chief Stan Cross, was instrumental in acquiring the water truck, donated by the coop.
He drove the truck daily as a coop employee, delivering fertilizer in it. When he learned the 1981 Freightliner was going to be retired, he realized it would be a good fit for the LVFD.
Talks with coop ag division manager Cleve Anderson eventually led to FVC donating the unit. After some refurbishing, addition of equipment and painting, the truck was put into service in January.
Brian Prosser, a member of the LVFD truck committee, expressed thanks to Cross from the entire department for his years of service as a firefighter and his work in acquiring the water truck.
“The truck will support Lamar’s grass trucks (quick attacks) and be an asset to Imperial’s department, as well,” Prosser said.
“Water, and the more the better, is always a valuable resource on fires in rural Chase County,” Prosser added.
He expressed the department’s thanks to FVC for its generosity.