Fire Fighting Grant

The sound of a fire alarm is something that for many could mean life or death. Over the past few months, the Livingston Fire department has distributed more than 200 of these alarms. For it's efforts, the department is being awarded a $5,000 grant from the state of Alabama.

"It's a win-win situation. By participating in this program we get $5,000 to buy smoke alarms. In return the community will receive free smoke alarms. If we save one life the project was worth it," said Chief Terry Peeler, Livingston Fire Department.

Including the chief, the Livingston Fire department has four full-time employees, 20 volunteers and four student slots. Currently, two of the student slots are filled. University of West Alabama junior Dexter Johnson from Newton is one of those students.

"It's something new, something I never thought I would do, but it's fun," said Dexter Johnson, LFD student program.

For the past year-and-a-half, Dexter has worked with the Livingston Fire department. Although an education major, Dexter decided to take part in the initiative to make extra money.

In return for working 12, eight-hour shifts each month, the city of Livingston pays the students a $200 food allowance. Established more than twenty years ago, Chief Peeler says the program offers students much more than just money.

"I came from DeKalb, Mississippi over here as a student. I stayed here, stuck it out and eventually made chief. so, it's a good resource for employment," Peeler said.

As for Dexter and his future in fighting fires, "I'll have to think about it a little more but maybe one day I'll decide to try it out," Dexter said.