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Grants from the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation help emergency responders to have the gear they need


The Wisconsin Public Service Foundation is in the process of distributing $80 thousand in equipment to first responders from Eagle River to Sheboygan as part of the Rewarding First Responders grant program.

Spokesman Matt Cullen says their crews often work alongside first responders, so they know how important the right equipment is.

“Our field personnel need to go and safely disconnect the electric or the natural gas service to keep that area safe while our first responders perform their duties, or if perhaps we have a severe weather event that moves through and knocks down our overhead power lines,” said Cullen.

Cullen says the department requesting the grant needs to show how the new equipment will benefit the community they serve.

“Being able to give them the tools and the equipment and the training that they need to keep everyone safe.”

Cullen says departments that receive grants in one year are ineligible the next so they can spread the impact out.

“That allows us to be able to reach a number of different departments all throughout northcentral and northeast Wisconsin.”

Cullen adds that this year's distribution from the foundation is a record amount.

In the last ten years, the program has awarded more than a half million dollars worth of equipment to more than 200 departments.

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