For the De Soto Fire Department, the $2,500 grant received from the Dallas County Foundation will be used to purchase new gear. Currently, the department uses the same gear regardless of the nature of the call. However, the purchase of new pants, coats, helmets and gloves will assist the firefighters in being able to fight grass fires without having to use their good bunker gear.

“It’s a little lighter weight but it still offers us good protection when fighting grass fires. It will also be less money if something happens to it. If you tear it going over a barbed wire fence or something, the department won’t be hurting their good fire gear,” De Soto Fire Chief Tim Murray said.

With the total cost of the gear at $5,000, the grant from the Dallas County Foundation will cover half of the funds needed to purchase the new equipment.

“It wouldn’t be possible to get this gear without their help because we really don’t have the money in the budget to purchase this gear,” Murray said, “With the help of this grant, we will be able to extend the life of our other gear.”

The remaining balance will be provided partially through the fire department budget and partially through department fundraising. Murray also noted that the De Soto Fire Department expected to receive the grant at the end of April and is currently planning to receive the new gear toward the beginning of summer.