By Krystal Fowler Lifestyle Editor
The Daily Iowegian
---- — The Centerville Volunteer Firefighters Association has received a grant for $2,000 from the MFA Oil Foundation. The grant will be used to help purchase a new extraction cutter for the fire department’s jaws of life system.
According to Capt. Ryan Moore with the Centerville Fire Department, the new cutter will cost approximately $5,000. About $1,500 still needs to be raised to make the purchase.
The department needs to update their extraction equipment because new cars are being made with boron steel, which is stronger than metals used in the past. The need to make cars lighter to improve fuel efficiency has led to the switch to the high strength steel, so that the lighter vehicles will still be safe.
Moore said the department purchased an entirely new jaws of life system in the early 2000s and all of the equipment will still be usable with the new steel, except for the extraction cutter. Using the current blades during an extrication could lead to them breaking, or the blades might not work at all.
The current cutter is rated at 20,000 pounds of cut force, while the boron steel would take 203,000 pounds of cut force to penetrate. The new cutter is rated to have 320,000 pounds of cut force.
The MFA Oil Foundation was established in 1998 and provides support to nonprofit organizations that work to improve communities where MFA Oil has a significant membership and employees.
MFA Oil President Jerry Taylor said the MFA Oil Foundation is “a program that allows our company to give supports back to the small towns and rural communities that are the foundation of our business.”
Three areas are primarily looked at when choosing grant recipients. The foundation looks for programs designed to build the knowledge and leadership skills of rural youth, agricultural and cooperative education programs and organizations active in addressing and solving community problems and improving the quality of life
MFA Oil is a farmer owned cooperative with more than 40,000 members in Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana and Kentucky.