Snowmass firefighters get a nearly $23K grant |

Snowmass firefighters get a nearly $23K grant

Photo courtesy Ann LarsonSnowmass/Wildcat Fire Protection District Chief Steve Sowles accepts a hefty check from Neil-Garing Insurance.

SNOWMASS VILLAGE Like most fire departments across the state, Snowmass operates on a limited budget and faces ongoing needs for new equipment and updated gear. Neil-Garing Insurance teamed up with Firemans Fund Insurance Co. to award the Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection District a $22,710 grant to purchase a variety of tools and protective clothing.Fire Chief Steven Sowles said his district will purchase 16 new sets of protective wildland gear with the money. Each firefighter will receive a new helmet, wildland pack, and pants and jacket.Currently, none of our firefighters have wildland-specific protective gear, said Chief Sowles. When summer rolls around, its important they have the proper clothing to protect themselves during wildfires, and this new clothing will do that.The district will also purchase a portable water pump to suction water from ponds, lakes and other water sources in areas where hydrants are scarce. In addition, a high-tech computer and presentation unit has been acquired for community presentations and firefighter training.In these challenging economic times, its difficult for fire departments to find extra money in the budget to purchase new gear, said John Neil with Neil-Garing Insurance. Were proud to help Snowmass in such an important way and hope this new equipment will be used for many years to come.Chief Sowles, Snowmass firefighters and executives from Neil-Garing Insurance and Firemans Fund this week came together to receive the grant package, part of a nationwide philanthropic program funded by Firemans Fund Insurance Co. The program is designed to provide needed equipment, training and educational tools to local fire departments.Since 2004, Firemans Fund has issued grants to more than 1,100 different departments totaling more than $21 million. Independent insurance agencies that sell Firemans Fund products are able to direct these grants to support fire stations in their communities. Neil-Garing Insurance was instrumental in directing this specific gift to Snowmass.Neil-Garing Insurance is an independent agency offering personal insurance, commercial property and casualty and employee group benefits. It is headquartered at Two Rivers Park Plaza in Glenwood Springs and has 40 employees with more than 5,200 clients, providing service to Aspen, Snowmass, the Roaring Fork Valley and the I-70 corridor. For more information, visit Fund Insurance Co. is a premier property and casualty insurance company providing personal and commercial insurance products nationwide. It is rated AA by Standard & Poors Rating Services. Founded in 1863 with a mission to support firefighters, Firemans Fund continues this effort today through its national philanthropic work.

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