The Vale Fire Department provides fire protection and emergency response services to the Vale, SD community and surrounding area that encompasses a 170-square mile area. Its mission is to prevent the loss of life and property. In addition to responding to calls for fire suppression, Vale Fire Department responds to medical emergencies, incidents involving hazardous materials, rescue calls, and motor vehicle or other accidents.
The Department has 30 volunteer members. Treasurer for the Vale Fire Department Joel Brunner shared that the volunteer rate is high, due in part to the availability of good equipment and training, and because these individuals love their community, serving to preserve and protect it.
Through a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Direct loan of $40,000 and a grant of $30,000 the Vale Fire Department purchased a type 6 brush truck. This truck adds to the Department’s fleet of four other brush trucks, one engine, and one search and reserve unit. The community support is just fantastic. Several years ago, one of the landowners who operates a lot of ground in the area donated $150,000 to the Department to purchase a fire tender truck.
Vale is a close-knit farming/ranching community that is comprised of neighbors helping neighbors. In the event of a fire or other related incident, the immediate mobilization of volunteer fire fighters is important and having readily accessible, reliable equipment is a necessity in this rural South Dakota community which ultimately helps save property and lives.
This federal funding is the fourth loan/grant the Department has received through USDA Rural Development. “Rural Development has given us the opportunity to have quality, dependable equipment that has helped us to do our jobs safely and provide a valuable service to nearly 400 residents,” said Mike Grubel, Fire Chief of the Vale Fire Department.