Josephine County Foundation CEO Frank Ault and Josephine County Youth Foundation President Bree Saunders are being interviewed by KTVL TV Station. The interview was for JCF’s $200K donation to local fire stations.
Volunteer fire agencies in Josephine and Jackson County to receive $200k in grants
Rogue Valley, Ore. — A student-led nonprofit based in Josephine County is awarding $200,000 in grants to small and mostly rural volunteer fire agencies in Josephine and Jackson County to help purchase equipment needed for fighting wildfires.
“We have provided to 13 fire departments; they are the small, volunteer departments, not the big city departments that are tax-funded,” Frank Ault, Board Chair of Josephine County Foundation, said.
The Josephine County Foundation (JCF) is a student-led 501c3 non-profit and launched Project SAFE (Students Acquiring Firefighter Equipment) in 2019.
“This is year 3 of Project SAFE (Students Acquiring Firefighter Equipment) to help keep our firefighters safe and to provide superior fire, medical and rescue services to citizens of our two-county region,” wrote Bree Saunders, JCF Student Executive Vice President. “Our goal is to raise $1 million, including the $500,000 match, so our region is prepared and does not have to experience wildfires like the Almeda, Obenchain and Slater Fires last September, with the loss of thousands of homes, our valuable wilderness areas, and skies filled with unhealthy smoke.”
JCF students in collaboration with fire departments raised $100,000 within their communities. The total raised was matched dollar-for-dollar by an anonymous donor. $80,000 of that money went to Applegate Fire District.
“This donation is helping our district out tremendously,” Applegate Fire Chief Mike McLaughlin said. “With the great community here in the Applegate and everybody just kind of donating to the fire district and then what Mr. Ault has done and what the students have done, it’s just been a great program and we have been fortunate enough to capitalize on it.”
McLaughlin said the money will go towards a new type six brush engine that holds 400 gallons of water, 25 gallons of foam and five people. This is compared to their current 31-year-old brush engine that holds three people.
“It’s lower profile; it’s easier, we can get into tighter spaces and it helps us get into fires quicker and get them out quicker,” McLaughlin said.