Firefighter Stevie Douglas, firefighter Cody Shaffer, Capt. Jonathan Knight, firefighter Gordon Segraves, Georgia-Pacific Port Hudson Vice President of Operations Kelvin Hill, Fire District 1 board member Michael Kimble, Capt. Jimbo Noland, firefighter Camron Thompson and Capt. Justin Walker attend the Bucket Brigade donation presentation at the Zachary fire station.

BATON ROUGE — Fire District 1 was one of 40 fire departments that were awarded Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade grants in 2017.

The department will receive $5,000 to help fund a hydraulic combination rescue tool. This battery-operated tool is smaller and lighter, requiring no hoses or power so a rescue operation can be made much quicker.

“The goal since the Bucket Brigade program began has been to help firefighters have the equipment they need help keep the citizens in our communities safe,” said Kelvin Hill, vice president of manufacturing for Georgia-Pacific’s Port Hudson Operations.

The Bucket Brigade program awarded $188,400 in grants to departments in 2017 for equipment critical to firefighters’ safety. Since the program began in 2006, 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.

“We are very happy to receive the GP Bucket Brigade Grant," Fire Chief Danny Kimble said. "The funds will be utilized to purchase equipment to better serve the community.”

Grants are based on need and are funded by the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and local Georgia-Pacific facilities. Funds are typically used to purchase new protective clothing and replace items such as damaged safety gear and aging equipment.

Through the program, Georgia-Pacific also gives all grant applicants free memberships to The National Volunteer Fire Council, which provides access to tools, resources, programs and advocacy for first responders across the nation.