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Roundup for Safety grant to benefit back country volunteers

Posted at 5:55 PM, Dec 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-22 17:41:31-05

A $1,600 Roundup for Safety (RFS) grant will fund radios for Northwest Montana Back Country Horsemen (NMBCH), who clear trails, provide pack support and other maintenance in the National Forests and surrounding areas.

RFS previously funded radios for the group, which president, Rick Mathies, says were put to good use just weeks after receiving them.

“I was riding a newer horse and it got spooked and bucked me off in steep terrain. I don’t remember hitting the ground. I just remember that we were able to call a crew with the ALERT helicopter to rush me to the emergency room.” Mathies says they applied for additional radios, because their workload has increased, meaning more volunteers in the backcountry.

“The nature of the work we do is dangerous, operating chain saws and crosscut saws, and packing in supplies for a work crew, which is all done with stock. We need to be able to communicate with the various agencies and first responders in case of an emergency, so these radios will be a welcome safety net for our volunteers."

In addition to the Northwest Montana Back Country Horsemen, Flathead Electric Cooperative’s Roundup for Safety Board also awarded grants for the following safety related community projects, bringing the total awarded at the December meeting to $16,600:

Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp - $1,000 for AED and cabinet;

Fair-Mont-Egan SD #3 - $10,000 for bleachers; and

Evergreen Junior High School - $4,000 for AEDs.

Roundup for Safety is a voluntary program for Flathead Electric Cooperative members who allow their electric bills to be rounded up to the next dollar, with the extra money going into a fund for community nonprofit safety projects.

The Co-op is grateful to all who participate in enhancing the safety of our community. For additional information about the program, call Wendy Ostrom Price at 406-751-1820 or visit [].