(McQueeney) -- An area volunteer fire department is getting some much needed help thanks to a local plant.
The McQueeney Volunteer Fire Department is one of 40 fire departments awarded a Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade grant this year. The department will receive $2,500 to help fund equipment needs, specifically breathing gear.
The Bucket Brigade program awarded $188,000 in grants to departments this year for equipment critical to firefighter's safety. Since the program started, Georgia-Pacific has given more than $2.2 million in cash and educational materials to 287 fire departments that serve the company's facility communities across the country.
McQueeney Fire Chief Tim Bogisch says the fire department grant will go toward the purchase of SCBA masks so that each firefighter will have one. He says currently, they have to share masks.
"Currently, we have to share masks and that can cause safety and hygiene issues for our firefighters," said Bogisch. " This grant will eliminate those problems and bring the department up to National Fire Protection Association standards."
Through the program, Georgia-Pacific also gives all applicants free memberships to the National Volunteer Fire Council which provides access to tools, resources, programs and advocacy for first-responders across the nation.