Nichols Volunteer Fire Department to apply for Ryan Grant

At their September meeting, the Nichols City Council discussed the fire department's plans to replace their bunker gear. (file photo)

NICHOLS, Iowa–As part of the continuous process of maintaining their equipment, the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department plans to replace their bunker gear within the next year. At the September Nichols City Council meeting, Fire Chief Kevin Flynn shared tentative plans for the replacement project.

According to Flynn, bunker gear (which includes all of the personal protective equipment firefighters wear to a call) needs replacement every 10 years. With all of Nichols’ gear at that age, the department has started looking into replacement options. Flynn estimates the new bunker gear will cost $51,000.

To help offset the cost, the department will apply for a grant from the Edward and Joseph Ryan Memorial Trust. Two years ago, the department received a grant from this fund (set up in 2003 to benefit non-profits in the West Liberty area) to help purchase their new pumper-tanker. If the department receives the grant, it could cover up to 85% of the costs. The remaining 15% will come from city money as well as the fire trustees.

As well as planning for the purchase of their new bunker gear, the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department looks forward to hosting a re-imagined fundraiser this fall. In lieu of their annual soup supper, the department plans to hold a drive through breakfast Sunday, Nov. 8.

In addition to discussing the fire department’s plans, the Nichols City Council discussed the latest developments in their sewer re-engineering process. A project update revealed that the city has completed the pre-engineering inspection of the waste collection lagoons. At their next meeting, they expect to hear from V&K about their plans for completing the project and about their grant application process.