Assistance grant program
The inquiries about the final request numbers of the State Fire Assistance Grant process are in a separate article. But the total needs requests total over $15 million. The goal of application review, award letters, and acceptance return from departments is November. If you are one of the points of contact listed on your application, be on the watch and ready.
As was stated in past articles, this is an assistance grant program, not a replace everything you need program. Thank you to the legislature for seeing the potential need and providing the assistance opportunity. Obviously, not all requests will be funded. But any amount received to assist with purchase should be appreciated.
Each year I write an article that is a little sentimental and a reminder to myself and others to be thankful for the people and truly meaningful things in our life. Some we still have, some we have enjoyed, and some we smile and appreciate the memory.
My condolences go out to the family and friends of Stan Heinert and the Parmalee Volunteer Fire Department. As mentioned by those who knew him well, his years of dedication to the Parmalee Volunteer Department were overshadowed only by the presence of his laugh and personality.
Our guest speaker at the fall conference, Jeff Dill, talked about the stressors that can affect us as responders and our family. The importance of taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally spreads to everyone around us. If something is causing stress on you, it is likely radiating to others around you. Likewise, if life is going great, it shows and can bring out the betterment to those you come in contact with.
The free counseling we frequently mention for assistance is for you and your entire family. It is for more than just incident related issues you may be challenged with. It is anything with life in general. Marriage, finances, depression, alcohol and drugs, work and other challenges you may face. If your spouse or children are having life challenges, they can call, too. Please, we help some many others, make sure you help yourself and your family.
The Fall Fire Conference was held in Fort Pierre. Thank you to those who were able to attend to hear Jeff Dill and participate in the membership discussions. The social events always allow for more informal and frequently entertaining conversations.
Some of you may have been in attendance or watched the live stream of the Fall Firefighters Memorial Service.
Thank you to the members of the Dakota District Pipe & Drums for their musical talents during the service. The bagpipes are always a highlight of the ceremony. The sounds as they echoed through the capital building add to the emotion of the service.
Thank you to all the honor guard members from Belle Fourche, North Haines, and Rapid City providing personnel to assist with the service. Although a bit warm in the upper levels, the Pierre and Fort Pierre department members standing watch at the rails is a special touch to see.
The 2024 Fall Fire Conference will be returning to the Fort Pierre AmericInn Conference Center again the weekend of 27-29 September 2024.
Jeremy Walla and I travelled to New York for the National Volunteer Fire Council Fall meetings. NVFC members started the session in New York City. On Wednesday morning we performed a ceremonial wreath laying at the 9/11 Memorial complex. The wreath was placed by the Survivor Tree.
For those that may not be familiar with the story of the tree. As the debris was cleared from the tower sights, a tree was discovered under the rubble that was damaged but alive. The tree was carefully removed and taken to a tree nursery. The tree was then brought back to the memorial site and continues to grow.
We travelled to Cooperstown, NY for the remainder of the session. We will have a complete report for you in the newspaper.
The SDFA Membership dues letter will be coming out soon. Thank you for your membership to the SDFA.
If you know a department that is not a member, please, pass along the membership opportunity. For those departments that have utilized some of the benefits a 100% membership offers, pass along your experience to other departments. You may have a local business or supporter that will cover the $25 per member of your department.
Get your department secretary or officer registered in our GrowthZone membership software system. You can make adjustments to your roster and pay your dues online. It will keep your department updated in our system for benefits, events, and other notifications.
I always enjoy the beauty of this time of year.
I think of Thanksgiving Day a time to review the year. To give God thanks for what we were given, enjoyed, and endured. For the moments and memories of who we have, and of those we had. I always try to end with a smile and an Amen.
Have a safe Thanksgiving.