Thanks to a grant, the Arkadelphia Fire Department can purchase a pair of life support kits for firefighters to use in life-threatening emergencies. The Arkansas Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils, Inc., awarded a rural fire protection grant in the amount of $867 grant to AFD for the purchase of two advanced life support kits. The Kansas Rural Fire Department also received one of the two rural fire protection grants, which were presented Thursday at the Clark County Courthouse. Though the grant is a relatively small one, it can make a big difference in an emergency situation. The life-supporting oxygen kits will be equipped on fire trucks for firefighters' and first responders' use when responding to calls. The kits are a valuable resource not only to residents who need emergency assistance, but also to emergency officials, as heart attack is a leading cause of firefighter death. "This will be a great asset to the fire department and to the city to have these kits on our trucks," Arkadelphia Fire Chief Ricky Arnold said of the kits. "Most of the time the ambulance is already on scene, but these can be used in case something happens to one of our guys, too." Deborah Sesser, director of grants and research for the City of Arkadelphia, explained that AFD will absorb the expense of training for use of the kits, if there is any. "The fire department will cover the cost of labor and training for the kits," Sesser said. According to Arnold, at least one full-time firefighter on each shift is already trained in advance life support. The RC&DC has awarded grants to rural fire departments in Clark County in the past, but Arnold said this marks a first for his department from that organization. "This is a new thing,” he said. "I've applied for this grant two or three times without success. [Sesser] applied for it one time and got it. She did a good job."