Santa Claus comes early tolocal fire departments -- via generous local bank
As part of Cornerstone's Bank 100th birthday celebration this year, the bank has just donated $11,000 to six local fire departments.
The Eureka Springs, Grassy Knob, Berryville, Inspiration Point and Holiday Island Fire Departments were each recipients of $2,000 donations, and the Beaver Fire Department received $1,000, officials said.
The contributions are meant to aid the departments in purchasing an item or items that they normally wouldn't be able to buy based on their current budget, Cornerstone said. Each donation will enable the fire departments to enhance their buildings, equipment or fire trucks.
The Eureka Springs Fire Department used its donation to buy a piece of equipment called a "blitzfire" for one of its fire trucks.
"A blitzfire is a ground water device that flows 500 gallons of water a minute," said Fire Chief Rhys Williams. "One fire fighter can use the device and it will aid in extinguishing large structure fires -- it's like four firefighters in one and it's a handy tool to have."
The Grassy Knob Fire Department used its donation to get a new tanker truck in working service. "We received a tanker from the Department of Defense and we had to get it painted, add emergency lights, a siren, a radio and lettering to it," said Fire Chief Bob McVey. "The donation covered the cost of getting the tanker in service."
The Holiday Island Fire Department has been in need of fire boots for its fire fighters and with this donation they were able to purchase them. "A while back we received a grant for fire jackets and pants but we didn't have enough to get them the boots," said fire chief Jack Deaton. "This donation enabled us to provide better equipment to our firefighters and it is going toward the protective footwear."
Cornerstone Bank Assistant Vice President Autumn Hudgins said the donations -- which, when it's all said and done this year, will total $100,000 in honor of its 100 years in business -- are the bank's way of saying thank you to the communities it serves.