The Hellsgate Fire District, based in Star Valley, has won a $23,641 grant from the Ak-Chin Indian Community. Fire Chief John Wisner said the money would be used to buy an all-terrain rescue vehicle.

The district’s personnel are often called on to respond to ATV injuries in areas they can only access by foot. With the new rescue vehicle, he said they could get to the injured more quickly.

“Every firefighter would be trained to operate the equipment as required by the district’s insurance carrier and have the best necessary equipment to use when operating it,” Wisner said.

He came before the Gila County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, Dec. 3 to seek its approval to be the pass-through agency per the gaming requirements of the Ak-Chin Community.

“Fire districts around the state are strapped financially. The rules are the same, but revenue is not equal. Some department revenue can grow with development and others are landlocked, which prohibits development.

“With legislative restrictions on fire department budgets we must seek alternative sources of funds. Tribal grants are one of these sources,” Wisner said.

The state’s compacts with tribal gaming operations require some awards to selected entities.

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