DuPont Pioneer will invest $100,000 in rural safety across Canada over the next year, with the launch of FIRE, the Funding Initiative for Rural Emergencies. The program — launched following its first donation to the Howick Fire Department in Howick, Ontario — will provide much-needed rescue equipment and training for rural fire departments and emergency services.

Howick community members, Pioneer employees, local dignitaries and media were on-hand to watch a live demonstration of training and equipment made possible by a $8,500 donation from Pioneer in March 2013. The demonstration simulated a grain bin rescue emergency — a likely scenario for farming communities dependent on local volunteer fire departments.

"The Pioneer donation will dramatically improve our ability to respond to agriculture-related emergencies and we are pleased they are making a commitment to help other rural departments like ours," said Howick Fire Department Chief Shawn Edwards.

The Dundalk Fire Department also received FIRE support today. Pioneer contributed more than $7,000 to help purchase an air bottle containment fill station. Pioneer has made 14 donations to rural emergency services over the past three years.

"Many Pioneer employees and their families live and work in rural areas like Howick and they are also volunteer firefighters," said Tara Moir, public relations manager, DuPont Pioneer. "We're proud to support these brave men and women, who voluntarily risk their lives to help their neighbours in times of need, and we want to make sure they have access to the tools and training they need to be safer."

Pioneer will work with local fire departments and rescue services to determine areas of need. These funds are being devoted to the purchase of necessities such as grain entrapment rescue equipment and training, air bottle containment refill stations among other emergency resources.

In addition to providing funds to communities across Canada, Pioneer will work to increase awareness of the vital role volunteer rescue workers play in rural communities through its DuPont Pioneer Facebook page. To learn more about funding opportunities, individuals are encouraged to contact their local Pioneer sales representative.

Source: DuPont Pioneer news release