ATLANTA, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A record 55 fire departments will receive money to purchase urgently needed equipment under Georgia-Pacific's Bucket Brigade™ grant program this year. Georgia-Pacific today announced awards totaling $270,000, the largest annual amount given since the program began in 2006. The program has now reached the $1.25 million mark in cash grants to fire departments that serve Georgia-Pacific's facility communities across the country.
"This year we had the highest number of Bucket Brigade applications we've ever received, which reflects the significant need by local fire departments in our communities," said Jim Hannan, chief executive officer and president of Georgia-Pacific. "The grants allow first-responders to better ensure the safety and security of the people in our communities, including our employees."
The grants, generally ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, are based on need and are funded by the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and local Georgia-Pacific facilities. This year's applicants requested funds to replace items such as worn out protective clothing, cracked helmets, aging hoses and nozzles, and hand-held radios – essential equipment that will help keep fire fighters safer and make their jobs easier.
Georgia-Pacific has partnered with The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) since 2008 to increase awareness about the grant program. Additionally, Georgia-Pacific gives all grant applicants free NVFC memberships, which provides access to tools, resources, programs and advocacy for first-responders across the nation.
"The NVFC is pleased to partner with Georgia-Pacific, which has donated nearly $1.5 million in grants, fire safety educational materials and memberships to local volunteer first-responder communities," said Heather Schafer, NVFC's executive director. "This support goes a long way in helping departments protect the communities they serve."
The fire departments receiving grants this year span 21 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
The timing of the grants coincides with National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6-12, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific is one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of building products, tissue, packaging, paper, cellulose and related chemicals. The company employs approximately 35,000 people worldwide. Georgia-Pacific is a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc., a privately-owned company headquartered in Wichita, Kan. Both companies have a strong tradition of focused community investment in communities where they have operations.
Video with caption: "A record 55 U.S. fire departments will receive money to purchase urgently needed equipment under Georgia-Pacific's Bucket Brigade grant program this year. Georgia-Pacific today announced awards totaling $270,000, the largest annual amount given since the program began in 2006. The program has now reached the $1.25 million mark in cash grants to fire departments that serve Georgia-Pacific's facility communities across the country." Video available at: http://youtu.be/jqO4pFrTOwQ