POLO – The Polo Fire Protection District will purchase a slide-in skid unit for its brush truck.
The purchase will be made with a $14,650 grant from the Monsanto Fund. The money was presented by the staff at Monsanto’s Ashton site.
The slide-in skid unit, consisting of a water tank and pump on a heavy duty truck, will allow the fire department to fight rural and open areas without fire hydrants.
“85 percent of the district is rural,” Polo Fire Chief Tony Karrow, said. “The grant will allow us to be better equipped to serve these areas.”
According to Karrow, fires in these rural areas can start when the climate is too hot and dry.
The tall grass and open fields of the White Pines Forest State Park, make the area susceptible to these wild land fires.
“Since it has rained so much this spring, the grass will be that much taller in the fall when it is drier,” Karrow said.
“Last year we had about 100-110 acres of burnt land in the area, and this year could be worse with the additional height of the grass.
Having this equipment will definitely help us to contain the area and keep homes safe.”
Field fires also can become a problem during the fall harvest. Combines can overheat during hot, dry months, which could spark a field fire.
The rural areas of the Polo Fire Protection District are home to many Monsanto seed growers and customers.
“Acquiring this kind of equipment will help protect our customers, as well as farm ground in the area,” Mike Arends, Ashton Monsanto site manager, said.
“This is great for the community, and we are happy to help out the local fire department.”
“We are very grateful to be the recipients of this grant from the Monsanto Fund,” Karrow said. “This provides us with enough funding to purchase vital equipment that we wouldn’t be able to afford on our own.”
This year, the Monsanto Fund awarded 127 site grants to nonprofit organizations in 26 states. In Illinois alone, 18 site grants were awarded and totaled $201,100.
The Monsanto Fund continues to provide support to organizations to help strengthen communities where farmers and Monsanto employees live and work.