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AgStar fund doubles grant program for Emergency Services Teams in rural MN and WI

Fri, Oct 12th, 2012
Posted in All Health & Wellness

Mankato, Minn. (October 8, 2012) – The AgStar Fund for Rural America, the corporate giving program of AgStar Financial Services, recently announced $127,835 in grants to 94 communities through the Emergency Response Equipment Grant Program. Due to the great need and large volume of applications, the AgStar Fund doubled the amount of departments served and increased the budget for this program by twenty five percent.

According to John Monson, Chair of AgStar’s Fund Board of Trustees, “Rural communities are being asked to do more with less, even when it comes to emergency services. This is our biggest investment in the program to date and we saw an incredible need this year. Many of the grant requests we received were for fundamental equipment and supplies. We see deserving volunteer fire, rescue and ambulance departments struggling; that’s why we at AgStar felt compelled to do more.”

Grants for up to $2,500 are awarded for funding equipment for volunteer fire, rescue and ambulance squads in AgStar’s 69-county service area. Since the Fund’s inception in 2001, AgStar has awarded nearly $567,274 to fire departments, ambulance teams and rescue squads in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

With a record number of grants awarded this year, following are a few examples of what the AgStar grant dollars will support. The Barnum Volunteer Fire Department in Carlton County, MN will replace communication equipment and a rig that was lost in the flooding this past summer. The Bear Lake Haugen Fire Department in Barron County, WI was supported with a grant to fund grain bin rescue equipment. With a free mutual aid agreement in Barron County, no department has the grain bin rescue equipment, making rescues difficult or even impossible. Finally the Watertown Fire Department in Carver County, MN will use their funds to replace a damaged hose that was discovered earlier in the year during their annual hose testing.

“AgStar also encourages other organizations interested in providing funding to local EMS team to contact their local department to learn more about how to help,” suggested Monson. “It’s obvious to us from the increased number of grant requests we receive that many departments are looking for support to meet basic needs to keep these communities safe.”

The Minnesota departments receiving grants this year include: Annandale Fire Department, Askov Fire and Rescue, Balsam Volunteer Fire Department, Barnum Volunteer Fire Department, Braham Fire Department, Bricelyn Fire & Ambulance, Brownsville Fire and Rescue, Butterfield Fire and Rescue, Cannon Falls Fire Department, Canton Fire Department, Chatfield Ambulance Service, Chester Fire and Rescue, IA (serving Fillmore County) City of Dundee, City of Le Sueur Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Claremont Fire Department, Comfrey Fire & Rescue, Darfur Fire Department, Delavan Fire Department, Dodge Center Fire Department, Edgerton Volunteer Fire Department, Eitzen Fire and Rescue, Emmons Volunteer Fire Department and 1st Responders, Eyota Volunteer Ambulance Service, Finland Fire and Rescue, Frost Area Ambulance, Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department, Hamburg Fire Department, Harmony Volunteer Fire Department, Hayward Fire Department, Hokah Firefighters Association, Holland Fire Department, Ironton Fire Department, Isle Fire & Rescue, Kasson Fire Department, Kerrick Fire and Rescue, Kiester Volunteer Fire Department, Kilkenny Fire & Rescue, La Crescent Fire & Rescue Department, Lafayette Fire Department, Lake City Fire Department, Lake County Ambulance Service, Lake Crystal Fire Department, Lakefield Fire Department, Lanesboro Area Ambulance, Lanesboro Fire Department, Lester Prairie Fire Department, Lewiston Fire Department, Lewisville Ambulance Service, Luverne Fire Department, Maple Lake Fire Department/Ambulance, Mayer Fire Department, City of Mayer, Mille Lacs Health System Ambulance, Moose Lake Area Fire Department, Northfield Rescue Squad, Ostrander Fire Department, Pierz Area First Response, Silver Lake Fire Department, South Bend Township Volunteer Fire Department, South Haven Fire and Rescue, Spring Valley Area Ambulance Service, St. Augusta Fire Department, St. Charles Ambulance, St. Clair Fire Department, St. James Fire Department, Sullivan Lake First Response, Trimont Ambulance, Truman Fire Department, Wabasha Fire Department, Watertown Fire Department, Watkins Fire Department (serving Stearns County), Wells Fire Department, West Concord Fire & Ambulance Department, Wilmont Volunteer Fire Department, Windom Fire Department, Wyoming Fire Department and Zumbrota Volunteer Fire Department. The Wisconsin departments receiving grants this year are: Baldwin Area EMS, Bear Lake Haugen Fire Department, Bloomer Area First Responders, Boyceville Community Fire District, County Line First Responders, Durand Municipal Ambulance Service, Ellsworth Fire Services Association, Elmwood Area Ambulance Service, Luck Rural Fire Department, Plum City Fire Department, Prescott Area Fire and Ambulance, Rock Creek Township Fire Department, South Shore Area Ambulance, Spring Valley Fire Services Association, Stanley Fire Department, Tilden Volunteer Fire Department and Town of Superior Volunteer Fire Department.

About AgStar:

AgStar Financial Services, ACA, headquartered in Mankato, Minn., employs more than 600 full-time team members. The company is part of the national Farm Credit System and has a public mission to serve 69 counties in Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. AgStar’s industry specialization, client segments and market delivery systems result in diversification nationwide. The company has expertise in the corn, soybean, swine, dairy and bio-energy industries. AgStar has developed successful programs in loans, leases, crop insurance, consulting and rural home mortgages. As a value-added financial services cooperative, AgStar allocates patronage dividends to its 15,000 stockholders. Visit www.AgStar.com for more information.

The company is also committed to giving back to rural residents, organizations and communities through AgStar’s Fund for Rural America. Since its inception in 2001, the AgStar Fund has donated more than $4 million to organizations working to improve the future of rural America. The Fund’s mission is “enhancing life in agriculture rural America.”

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