Garrison Fire Dept. grant will aid in storm recovery - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Garrison Fire Dept. grant will aid in storm recovery

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GARRISON (KWWL) -

Storm recovery continues in eastern Iowa communities hit by a massive wind storm this summer.  The July 11 storm packed winds of more than 100 miles an hour, and it tore a path of destruction through much of Benton and Tama Counties.

In the Benton County town of Garrison, much of the fire station was wiped out.  The walls of the building caved in on top of fire trucks and rescue equipment.  Now, the fire department is on the road to recovery.

The Garrison Fire Station doesn't look like much.  But new wood framing is a sign of progress, as the small Benton Co. community continues to recover from July's wind storm. 

"The contractor is here of course putting the building up.  They started working actively on that about a month ago.  The trucks have actually started going in for repairs now.  And we have inventoried everything and know what we still need to replace," said Steve Meyer, Garrison Fire Chief.

Even with damaged fire trucks and no building to work from, the Garrison Fire Department has remained in full service to the community since the storm.  But equipment is scattered, making it tough to run an efficient fire service.

"Our trucks are out in the country.  Our firefighters have got their gear with them.  A lot of the equipment we had in the station is scattered around, like in garages and other buildings around town.  So it's made it difficult," Chief Meyer said.

That's why fundraisers like Sunday's pancake breakfast are so important.  Every dollar earned will help spur continued storm recovery, helping get Garrison's fire operations back under one roof.  And the department is thankful for the community's support.

"The word's getting out, you know, that we need help.  And there's a lot of giving people in the area that are willing to come forth," said Meyer.

And those efforts are getting a big boost, as the fire department has been awarded a $10,000 grant from State Farm Insurance.

"That's real significant.  We have the Garrison Emergency Services relief fund established that we're using to basically take care of a lot of needs that won't be taken care of by insurance," Meyer said.

That means the grant money can help purchase everything from fire suits to hoses and emergency response radios.  It's equipment that will help bring the fire department and community one step closer to full recovery from the summer storm.

Chief Meyer is hopeful that enough of the building will be closed in by winter that fire trucks can once again be parked inside the station house.  And the entire fire department reconstruction should be completed in the spring.

 If you'd like to help the Garrison Fire Department with its recovery efforts, donations can be made through US Bank in Vinton to the Garrison Emergency Services relief fund.

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