On July 27, Sen. Bob Bennett announced that three Utah fire departments will receive more than $230,000 in grants to enhance operations and replace outdated equipment.
Locally, Sunnyside will receive $74,926 in federal funding to purchase a brush truck, a specialized vehicle used to fight fires in wooded and brush covered areas. The fire department's current truck can only travel about 15 miles per hour.
The Sunnyside department helps protect a 25-square mile area in Carbon County that is prone to wildfires, noted the senator's office. Sunnyside department currently has two firefighters certified to battle wildfires.
"It is going to be so wonderful to finally have a truck that con go out and get to the fires before they spread," said city recorder Polly Sanderson.
Included with the grant is money for a drivers training course for the brush truck.
In addition to Sunnyside, Utah fire departments receiving funding included Cedar City-Iron County and Panguitch. The three agencies will receive a total of $231,661 as part of the grants program administered by the United States Department of Homeland Security's fire administration.
"These fire departments are in the heart of some of Utah's largest wildfires that have burned thousands of acres throughout the state," pointed out Bennett, a member of the U.S. Senate's appropriations committee.
"In many instances, this program is the only way local units could update new equipment, purchase new fire trucks, or modernize operations. I'm happy to see them get the resources they need to respond to immediate threats in our communities," concluded the U.S. senator.