JOHN DAY - Fire Chief Ted Johnson reported he is in the process of putting together an application for a $200,000 grant through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to purchase a new fire truck for the John Day Fire Department.

If approved, the city would use the money to purchase a four-by-four truck to replace one of the old trucks currently in service. Two of the trucks currently in use by the John Day Fire Department are over 20 years old.

Johnson recently attended a grant writing class for the application and was told the city could improve its chances of obtaining the grant if it was put in the narrative that the city would be willing to donate the old truck to a smaller department. Deadline for filing the application was Friday, April 2.

"When we apply, the application will be good for one year," Johnson said. "I think the FEMA grants are handed out quarterly and we won't know if we were successful until they call us. At the March 23 city council meeting, the council approved donating the old truck to a smaller department if we receive money for a new one, so I think we should have a pretty good chance of obtaining the grant."

Johnson said he is also waiting to hear whether a previous grant he applied for through the State Homeland Security Program was approved.

"We should be hearing from them sometime next week. Hopefully, we will be receiving money from a couple of different places," he said.

Johnson said the city is also seeking additional volunteer firefighters to join the department.

"We are really short right now and we would like to have more people join the department," he said. "We would like to get at least five but if we could get 10 more volunteers that would be great."

Currently the department has 14 members, but Johnson said three of them aren't active at the present time.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the John Day Fire Department should call city hall at (541) 575-0028.

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