Barnwell Fire Dept. receives $4,500 grant from Georgia Pacific

  • Georgia-Pacific representatives present Barnwell City Fire Chief Tony Dicks with a $4,500 check to purchase personal protective equipment. Also pictured are some of the department’s firefighters.

The Barnwell Fire Department is among 33 grant recipients of Georgia-Pacific’s Bucket Brigade program this year. The department received $4,500 to help fund equipment needs.

“We have a strong relationship with our local fire departments, so we are very pleased to help them stay well-equipped,” said Morgan Thomas, site manager for Georgia-Pacific's Allendale OSB facility. “These grants show our gratitude for their selfless dedication.”

The fire department says the grant will go toward the replacement of firefighter Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used in structural firefighting that no longer meets standards set by the National Fire Protection Association due to age or disrepair. Each set costs more than $2,000.

“As a rural volunteer fire department, we struggle financially due to limited funding, so we are always in need of PPE for our firefighters,” said Fire Chief Thomas Dicks. “The high cost of maintaining compliant and properly sized PPE limits the number of firefighters we can equip to serve the community.”

This year, Georgia-Pacific awarded $170,000 in grants to fire departments for equipment critical to firefighters’ safety. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Bucket Brigade program, through which Georgia-Pacific has given more than $2 million in cash and educational materials to fire departments that serve the company’s facility communities across the country.

“Over the 10 years of our Bucket Brigade program, I’m proud that we’ve awarded 335 grants, representing more than 270 fire departments in our facility communities,” said Jim Hannan, chief executive officer and president of Georgia-Pacific. “Our goal since the program began has been to help first responders have the equipment they need to better protect themselves, and help keep our communities safe.”

This year, Bucket Brigade grants ranged from $2,500 to $10,000. Grants are based on need and are funded by the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and local Georgia-Pacific facilities. Funds are typically used to purchase new protective clothing and replace items such as damaged safety gear and aging equipment.

Additionally, Georgia-Pacific gives all grant applicants free memberships to The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), which provides access to tools, resources, programs and advocacy for first responders across the nation.

“Georgia-Pacific is a great example of a company giving back to the first responders that protect its communities, many of whom are volunteers,” said Heather Schafer, NVFC’s chief executive officer. “We are proud of the work Georgia-Pacific does to help local departments fund the gear and equipment they need to keep their personnel safe and better protect their communities.”

The fire departments receiving Bucket Brigade grants this year span 18 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Visit the Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade website for more information.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific and its subsidiaries are among the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of bath tissue, paper towels and napkins, tableware, paper-based packaging, office papers, cellulose, specialty fibers, nonwoven fabrics, building products and related chemicals. The company employs approximately 35,000 people directly, and creates nearly 92,000 jobs indirectly. For more information, visit: gp.com.