The Pilot Rock Rural Fire Protection District will receive nearly $50,000 from the federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden announced Monday.

The grant, awarded by the Department of Homeland Security, will give Pilot Rock's department $48,973 to use on new communications equipment.

"This grant is a tremendous award for Pilot Rock RFPD - not only because of our aging and deficient equipment, but also because of the new mandated communications standards that we can now fully comply with," Pilot Rock Chief Scott Stanton said in a released statement. "It's difficult to develop the budget resources to make these kinds of acquisitions for our RFPD. The (Assistance to Firefighters Grant) program and the Congressman's support are extremely important to our success."

Among the department's improvements could be a new base station, pagers, radios and mobile equipment for vehicles. The federal program also provides aid to fire departments for vehicles and training, among other things.

"I'm always pleased to see responsible federal investments being made for public services in our communities," Walden said in a statement. "The Pilot Rock Rural Fire Protection District provides a critical service to the people of Pilot Rock, so it's especially fulfilling for an investment to be directed toward such a valuable institution."

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