Joliet Fire Department receives grant through Community Builder Program


Courtesy photo - Josh Harris, RDO Equipment Co., gives the check to Charlie Buechler, Joliet Fire Dept. President, with Mel Hoferer, Joliet Fire Chief, and Chris Klamert, a volunteer with the Joliet Fire Department in attendence.

Joliet Fire Department has been awarded a grant from the RDO Equipment Company through its Community Builder program. The fire department will share a $500,000 grant with 40 other departments.
The initiative is supported by the Offutt Family Foundation.
Josh Harris, a 10-year veteran of the volunteer fire department and current Parts Manager of RDO Equipment Co. in Billings, submitted Community Builder grant for the Department.
The Joliet Fire Department covers 220 square miles and serves a population of more than 2,000 residents, including the communities of Joliet, Boyd, and Silesia. The current firehouse is lacking finished space for living quarters, restricting the volunteers’ on-call schedule. The Community Builder grant is being used to install heating/cooling and plumbing, allowing the team to finish the space and be able to set up a dedicated 24/7 schedule for better response times.
All R.D. Offutt Company team members who are active volunteer firefighters were invited to apply for a Community Builder grant. As part of the application, the employee explained how the grant will benefit the local community along with information about his/her personal commitment to the fire department.
Community Builder applications are submitted year-round and awarded twice a year. Because of the number of team members who donate time to their local volunteer fire department, this fall’s round of submissions was specially designated for rural and volunteer fire departments.
“The response we received was overwhelming and speaks to the great needs our communities have in providing resources to volunteer fire departments,” Jean Zimmerman, Executive Vice President of RDO Equipment Co., said. “Supporting our communities is important to the Offutt Family Foundation and these grants will greatly impact, not just the volunteer fire departments, but the citizens who rely on this crucial community service.”

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