Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
PACKWOOD — Packwood Fire and Rescue will receive a $2,500 grant courtesy of Bayer Fund.
Bayer Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the communities where Bayer customers and employees live, partners with farmers to provide grants to local nonprofits of their choice. Packwood-area farmer J.D. Hollingsworth applied for and won a Bayer Fund America’s Farmers Grow Communities grant, and chose to direct the money to the volunteer fire department where he is a member.
This marks the second year in a row Packwood Fire and Rescue has received a Bayer Fund grant. Last year, local farmer Aaron Ledger won a $2,500 grant through the same program and directed it to Packwood Fire and Rescue. At the time, Packwood firefighter and former Assistant Fire Chief Garry Dickey said the money would go toward purchasing new pagers.
Packwood Fire Chief Jeremy Atwood said he’s not sure how the department will use the grant money this year since he just learned of the award.
“Insurance is one of our biggest expenses,” Atwood said. “For a small department, we pay out over $14,000 in property and workers’ compensation insurance.”
Atwood said the money might go to new radios and pagers, two of the more common expenses in a fire department.
“We’re also starting to save for a pumper truck, since our main pumper is over 10 years old,” he said.
Atwood said the department has kept a fairly low profile during the past year, not holding any fundraisers or public events because of the pandemic.
“We’ve limited our interactions to basic training and equipment upkeep,” he said, “but hopefully we can get back to normal here soon.”
Since 2010, the Bayer Fund America’s Farmers programs have awarded more than $59 million to community nonprofits, aspiring ag students and public schools across rural America. According to a news release from Bayer, “Farmers are leaders in their communities, which is why America’s Farmers programs rely on them to help identify the most worthy causes.”