Grant funds to buy RFD Sparky costume
Jason Houston Acting Publisher
The Russellville Fire Department has long used a dog costume, a character nicknamed “Sparky,” to promote fire prevention in schools and day care centers. Thanks to some new federal grant money, Sparky will be a new, improved costume with blinking eyes and a voice-changing machine that will give Sparky his own voice.
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) announced this week the city of Russellville will receive $13,050 in federal funds to assist with fire prevention.
These funds were awarded by the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Domestic Preparedness, as a part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. This program will distribute $750 million in direct federal assistance to firefighters nationwide this year.
These were things we needed to get,” Mansell said. “We go around all the time to schools talking to kids and Sparky really gets their attention.”
Mansell gave credit to Fire Marshall Bobby Malone and Steve Thornton for their work in acquiring the grant funding.