The tornadoes, thunderstorms and wind that whipped through Alabama this spring had a devastating impact in terms of lost lives and property damage. The Cromwell-Halsell Volunteer Fire Department, located less than 20 miles from GP’s Naheola consumer products facility, was completely wiped out by a twister. The building was destroyed, a fire truck crushed and protective equipment scattered about in surrounding areas.

The Cromwell-Halsell Volunteer Fire Department was selected, with 24 other fire and rescue units, as a winner of this year’s Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade grant program. With the $10,000 Bucket Brigade grant, and federal and state assistance, the fire department has started to rebuild.

See images of the tornado's destruction. Hear from Cromwell-Halsell Volunteer Fire Department Chief Willie Bryant about receiving the GP Bucket Brigade grant.

Now in its sixth year, the program has contributed nearly $800,000 to help rural and small town fire units operating in Georgia-Pacific communities. The grants have been used to purchase much-needed equipment that helps protect the lives and property of residents as well as their firefighters.