Wichita West VFD Applies for Reimbursement Grants

This spring and summer brought an extraordinary fire season.  It not only was one of the worst on record, it was unexpected.  Winter is the traditional fire season in Texoma.

"A lot of our expenses we've used were in the first couple months prior to the fire season starting so when April, May and June hit us prior to that next check our funds were running low," says Joe Gazdik, Treasurer at the Wichita West Volunteer Fire Department.

Wichita County did not get approved for federal aid because the damage costs was not considered to be high enough, but for Wichita fire departments it was a much worse year than others.

There were more fire calls and each call required more resources on an already tight budget.    
"Luckily the Forester Service and a couple other places have opened some grants up that we can apply for, a couple are emergency grants," says Gazdik.

Those grants may make the difference for departments like Wichita West.

"The grants that were made this year for reimbursement is kind of an all of a sudden thing," says Adam Brinkman, a firefighter at Wichita West.

For many of these grants it is the first year they've been made available, a response to this years difficult and overwhelming fire season.

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.