Supporting Safety through the Volunteer Firefighter Initiative

Supporting Safety through the Volunteer Firefighter Initiative

Our Volunteer Firefighter Initiative was launched in September with the mission to support fire departments who rely on volunteer firefighters within the communities where Independent Stave Company cooperage facilities, mills and sales offices are located.

As soon as the program launched, we received requests from volunteer stations near our facilities. Our grant panel made up of Independent Stave Company employees – one of whom is a volunteer firefighter – quickly got to work on the applications. We are happy to announce the following four grants have been approved for Q4 2020.

  • Located near Kentucky Cooperage:
    • Gravel Switch Volunteer Fire Department, Gravel Switch, KY:
      • $3,000 grant awarded

  • Located near New Florence Wood Products:
    • Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department, Montgomery City, MO:
      • $2,000 grant awarded

  • Located near Missouri Cooperage:
    • Long Lane Volunteer Fire Department, Long Lane, MO:
      • $2,000 grant awarded

  • Located near Benton Wood Products:
    • West Marshall Fire Department, Benton, KY:
      • $3,000 grant awarded

The awards will be used to fund a large range of needs - from new boots to fire-rated, personal protective gear to mobile water storage tanks. From the grant applications, it was evident that the departments were making it a priority to keep their firefighters and communities safe.

Pictured L to R: Blake Blandford; Joe Strong; Kevin Rogers; Chad Spalding

Chad Spalding and Blake Blandford of ISC Barrels recently visited Gravel Switch Volunteer Fire Department to present them with their grant award. While receiving the award Chief Joe Strong commented, “Volunteer firefighter departments, we run on a very small budget. Unlike city fire departments that are funded by taxpayers, rural departments get a small yearly budget from the county and some additional state aide. When you take bills for the station and then gear, that adds up. Any gear we use that is fire-rated (making it safe for our volunteers) comes with an extra big price tag. Thank you.”


ISC Barrels’ Jeff LaHue visited Chief Keith Reynolds of the Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department last week. Keith told Jeff, “Volunteer Fire Departments rely on the generosity of others to be able function and serve the people in our communities. Grants mean a lot to volunteer fire departments. Equipment has a 10-year shelf life and the equipment to keep our volunteers safe is expensive. Being able to purchase and utilize ‘Bunker gear’ will protect firefighters in structural firefighting, vehicle fires and other calls. It would allow us to enter IDLH (immediately dangerous to life and health) situations - greatly improving our firefighters’ ability to protect life and property while remaining safe.”

We are excited to continue approving grants on an ongoing basis. Independent Stave Company has made $50,000 available for potential grant awards during the first year and grants are reviewed each quarter. The next grants will be awarded in March 2021.

To apply for a grant, qualifying fire departments should fill out the form on our website to fund specific volunteer firefighter needs within their stations


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