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1ST Responder Newspaper - TX

Fall, 2015



Deputy Chief of Operations in Lubbock

Lubbock Fire Rescue congratulates Shaun Fogerson on his appointment to Deputy Chief of Operations. Shaun joined the fire department in September of 1992, just completing his 23rd year of service. Shaun has most recently served the department as a Battalion Chief. Before Shaun joined Lubbock Fire Rescue, he served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. During his service, he served tours of duty in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Texas A&M Forest Service awards $15.7 million in grant funds


First Priority Emergency Vehicles acquires key assets of Odyssey Specialty Vehicles

Manchester, NJ. First Priority Emergency Vehicles, a recognized leader in emergency and specialty vehicle solutions, announces the acquisition of key assets of Odyssey Specialty Vehicles, a 35-year-old innovator of emergency medical, fire, rescue and law enforcement vehicles. The production of Odyssey products will be located at First Priority's state-of-the art manufacturing facility in Flanders, New Jersey. Robert J. Freeman, President of First Priority Emergency Vehicles and CEO of First Priority Global noted "Odyssey brings a strong heritage of innovation to the First Priority family of products. This is a perfect match for First Priority's proven track record of manufacturing expertise and superlative customer service. Across the nation, Odyssey and First Priority products are used daily by American heroes in their life saving and property preserving missions. We are grateful for their sacrifices and proud to partner with them by providing the tools necessary to insure the public safety of our nation and its families".

Kenneth Rudnicky, First Priority's Flanders Production Manager stated, "Odyssey Specialty Vehicles is consistently recognized by first responders across the US and worldwide for technical innovation and functional design. First Priority Emergency Vehicles has the operational capabilities and manufacturing leadership to expand the Odyssey Specialty Vehicles brand dramatically while maintaining Odyssey's longstanding commitment to quality. " For additional information, visit First Priority at and Odyssey Specialty Vehicles at For immediate assistance, contact First Priority at (800) 526-5106. About First Priority Global

First Priority Global, LLC is an international leader in emergency and specialty vehicle manufacturing and distribution, including fire fighting, emergency medical, rescue, command and law enforcement applications. In addition, First Priority offers the nation's largest variety of environmentally-friendly school buses. With offices in New Jersey, North Carolina, California and Beijing, First Priority serves America coastto-coast, as well as more than 30 countries worldwide. First Priority is a proud recipient of the prestigious President's E-Award for its contribution to the American economy through exporting of premium-grade American made products worldwide.

College Station, TX. Intense wildfire seasons and life-altering emergencies call for better equipment and more training for our firefighters on the frontline. With over 85 percent of Texas fire departments being operated by volunteers, funding for essential equipment and training can be hard to come by. The Texas Legislature allocates funding to Texas A&M Forest Service for pass-through grants to Texas volunteer fire departments in an effort to help them better protect lives and property. This year, the agency received $24.3 million to distribute to volunteer fire departments through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program. On Oct. 7, the program awarded $15.7 million in its first of three meetings for the 2016 fiscal year. “No other state understands or supports their first responders like Texas. By increasing the Rural VFD Assistance Program grant fund, the Texas Legislature drove home that point and we are extremely grateful,” Texas A&M Forest Service Director Tom Boggus said. The program allows TFS to build the capacity of communities by providing funds to volunteer fire departments to purchase life-saving equipment, including firefighting vehicles, fire and rescue equipment, protective clothing, dry-hydrants, firefighting training and training aids. “We were honored to present the awards at our first meeting, knowing that they will make a tremendous difference in the protection of life and property,” Jason Keiningham, capacity building department head. “These grants provide firefighters with much needed equipment to more effectively respond to a variety of emergencies.”

JUMP TO FILE #103015106 Established by the 77th Legislature in 2001, the program has provided funds for 1,630 engines, 4,166 grants for fire and rescue equipment, 4,024 grants for protective gear and 17,997 training request for 64,268 firefighters, awarding more than $213 million total since its inception. While we are extremely proud of this accomplishment, there is a big job left to do with $155 million in unmet needs. All chartered, nonprofit VFDs operated by its members are eligible, and any part-paid, part-volunteer fire department with 20 or fewer paid members is eligible to receive grants through the Rural VFD Assistance Program. “Time after time I’ve been told by proud and thankful fire chiefs across the state that this was the first brand new fire truck the department has ever had and what a difference it made in their ability to protect Texans,” Boggus said. “We are proud to take part in the Rural VFD Program and will continue to support our first responders.” With the increase in state funding, more departments have the opportunity to get life-saving equipment and training, better protecting communities threatened by wildfire. Additionally, TFS will offer a pilot program which will fully cover the cost of adding a slip-on unit to trucks acquired through the Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program — a federallysourced program operated by TFS that provides excess military equipment to fire departments and emergency service providers. - JESSICA JACKSON

Profile for Belsito Communications Inc.

1st Responder Texas Fall Edition  

1st Responder Texas Fall Edition