Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department boosts response capabilities with new boat

February 9, 2024

A volunteer fire department in western Indiana has expanded its ability to respond to emergencies on lakes and waterways thanks to a surprise grant.

The Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department, located near Rockville, Indiana, has acquired its first boat, enhancing its operational efficiency in water-related incidents.

This acquisition was made possible through funding from Marathon Pipe Line (MPL), a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum’s midstream segment, MPLX.

Chief Jason Games of the Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department shared the challenges faced by the department prior to receiving the grant.

“In the past, we have always had to borrow a civilian’s boat,” Games remarked, highlighting the limitations in their ability to respond to water incidents effectively.

Surprise grant from Marathon Pipe Line

The funding for the boat was an unexpected boon for the department, which had been considering budget cuts to finance the purchase.

The generosity of MPL came as a surprise to Chief Games and his team, particularly during a check presentation event.

MPL Operations Supervisor Lee Hammond delivered the news that the full grant request was being met, leaving the crew visibly moved.

“This gave me immediate goosebumps, and you could look around the room and see the shock in the eyes of the rest of my crew,” Games expressed.

The grant covered the cost of a boat, motor, trailer, sonar system, and safety equipment, totaling $37,500.

This support came after an emergency preparedness workshop conducted by MPL for the fire department, underlining MPL’s ongoing commitment to aiding first responders in areas adjacent to its pipelines.

Enhanced emergency response capabilities

The newly acquired boat was put to use in early January, marking its inaugural mission in a rescue operation involving a dog in the water in neighboring Putnam County.

The department successfully located and rescued the dog, demonstrating the immediate impact of the grant on the community’s safety.

“We were able to take the dog’s owner out with us and locate the dog,” said Games, emphasizing the boat’s role in bolstering the department’s response capabilities.

The addition of the boat enhances the department’s ability to manage incidents on water whilst preserving its budget for other crucial needs.

“Our grant allowed them to purchase a boat that better suits their needs and keep their budget for training and other equipment intact,” remarked MPL’s Lee Hammond on the significance of the funding.

FSJA Comment

The Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department’s acquisition of a boat through the unexpected generosity of Marathon Pipe Line signifies a notable enhancement in the department’s emergency response capabilities.

This development demonstrates the impactful role of community and corporate support in bolstering local emergency services.

The ability to respond more effectively to incidents on waterways around Rockville, Indiana, ensures the safety and well-being of the community and its residents.

This story highlights the importance of collaboration between corporate entities and public service departments, showcasing how such partnerships can lead to tangible improvements in emergency response and community safety.

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