AgStar fund doubles grants for emergency services teams

Published 2:36 pm Saturday, October 13, 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. Because of 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 25 percent, according to a news release.

“Rural communities are being asked to do more with less, even when it comes to emergency services,” said John Monson, chairman of AgStar’s fund board of trustees. “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.

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Fire departments in Bricelyn, Emmons, Hayward, Kiester and Wells were included, the release stated.

“AgStar also encourages other organizations interested in providing funding to local EMS teams to contact their local department to learn more about how to help,” Monson said. “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.”