The Hovland Volunteer Fire Department learned last week that it will receive a $28,000 FEMA grant to help with recruitment, training, and support. Shawn Perich is the Hovland Fire Chief:
“This grant is going to allow us to hopefully make some strides at getting some younger members on our department,” says Perich. “That’s always a challenge for volunteer fire departments, is to keep filling their ranks with new blood, and we’re going to actively seek to do that over the next year or so.”
This is the second federal grant the Hovland Fire Department has been awarded this year. Back in February, the department received a $46,000 Assistance to Firefighters grant to upgrade and purchase equipment. Currently the Hovland Fire Department has about two dozen volunteers, including firefighters, medical first responders, and members of its traffic safety team. They provide service to the greater Hovland area.
“Our coverage is unorganized territory. We do cover the area between the Brule River on Highway 61 and the Reservation River on Highway 61, and then everything inland from there. So if you live within that district, we can use you,” says Perich.
Perich suggests that Hovland area residents interested in volunteering with the fire department come to one of the regular meetings at the Hovland Fire Hall, held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 7 p.m., or, he says, just ask a neighbor.
“Lots of folks in Hovland are involved with the fire department, so if you just ask around you can generally make contact with us and find out a little more.”