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CONTRIBUTED Representatives of the Russellville Fire Department accept a grant from State Farm agent Rhett Bradford, a former RFD firefighter.

RFD receives State Farm grant

Fire safety and education are important in any area, but it can be hard to educate all community members about fire safety and prevention when part of the population speaks a different language. To help bridge this gap, State Farm is giving a $2,500 grant to Russellville Fire Department.

“We have a good portion of Hispanics in Franklin County, so just siding it toward just English alone is missing a large portion of folks who could possibly die from a structure fire,” said Russellville fire marshal Justin Green.

Green said this money will purchase 100 smoke detectors with a 10-year lifespan and bilingual pamphlets focusing one structure fires and fire prevention. The front will be in English, and the back will be in Spanish, to ensure the majority of the population in Franklin County can understand the material.

“Could you live with yourself just because you didn’t want to spend the extra three cents to get the extra language on the back?” Green said.

Green said the fire department had applied for this grant in the past, but it was not approved for the funding until former Russellville firefighter and now State Farm agent Rhett Bradford decided to take up the fire department’s cause.

“The city has a budget they have to live under, and there’s only so much money in the pot. So sometimes the money just wasn’t there with some of the things we had going,” Bradford said.

Bradford worked at the Russellville Fire Department for 14 years and said when he began working for State Farm, he instantly knew he wanted to try to secure one of State Farm’s community grants for the Russellville Fire Department.

“I know the struggle of year in and year out trying to keep programs alive and keep them going because funding’s not there,” Bradford said.