MARYVILLE, Mo. — During July and August, members of the Missouri Department of Conservation and U.S. Forest Service have distributed matching funds grant checks for rural fire departments throughout the state and in Nodaway County.

One hundred and sixty-eight fire departments have received grants for up to $4,000 to help with the purchase of personal protective gear, communications equipment and wildfire suppression equipment to help increase the fire departments’ capacity to suppress wildfires safely and efficiently, according to a Department of Conservation news release.

The total funding awarded to Missouri fire departments through the grant program this year is $386,639.14. Fire departments are required to match 50 percent of the funds provided by the state conservation department and the U.S. Forest Service.

During the last 30 years, more than $8 million has been distributed to rural fire departments to help increase the safety of firefighters and provide them with better firefighting equipment.

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