Pickwick F.D. awarded federal grant

The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the Pickwick Fire Department in Winona County a grant worth $197,000.

The grant will help pay for new protective gear and breathing masks for the volunteer firefighters. It’s the first time in the department’s history each firefighter will be provided with new gear.

Some of the gear the department is using is nearly 20 years old and has been handed down to new firefighters over the years.

“My old gear, it’s short in the selves and I have a big burn hole in the my back, but our S.C,B’s, it sort of covers it, and kind of protects me in that way. But, it’s a burn hole, and it’s a weak spot in the gear, and it could fail in a fire,” said Capt. Josh Meyer.

The department will have to fund 5 percent of the cost for the new gear and is looking for donations from the public.