Kentucky American Water will award $5,500 in grants this year to 11 Kentucky firefighter organizations through the company’s annual Firefighting Support Grant Program. The program, established in 2011, provides financial assistance in the form of $500 grants to uniformed, professional and volunteer fire departments serving communities in the company’s service territories. The company considered grant applications requesting funds for personal protective gear, communications equipment, firefighting tools, water-handling equipment, rescue tools, training and other materials used to support fire fighting and rescue efforts. “Water utilities and fire fighting organizations have historically had a close working relationship to ensure public safety,” said Cheryl Norton, president of Kentucky American Water. “We at Kentucky American Water understand the critical role we continue to play in supporting the efforts of area fire fighters by providing reliable water service and by owning and maintaining more than 8,000 public fire hydrants. “Our Firefighting Support Grant program is one additional way we can demonstrate our partnership with, and support of, fire fighting efforts. We’re pleased to announce these awards as firefighters across the country prepare for Fire Prevention Week, observed this year from Oct. 7 through Oct. 13.” Departments and their respective projects receiving funds in 2012 are: Monterey Volunteer Fire Department – Monterey, Ky.Purchase portable radios for new members. Radios will be compatible as required by the Federal Communications Commission. Owen County Volunteer Fire Department – Owenton, Ky.Support purchase of tablets with software to store county maps and addresses, hydrant locations, emergency phone numbers and hazardous materials information. Owen County Search and Rescue – Owenton, Ky.Purchase plastic stokes basket to use in rescues. Franklin County Fire Department – Frankfort, Ky.Purchase portable radio equipment. Nicholasville Fire Department – Nicholasville, Ky.Purchase laptop computer to use with fire safety education program. Bourbon County Fire and Rescue – Paris, Ky.Purchase hydrant/roadway reflective stripping markings to assist department personnel when responding at night. Woodford County Fire Protection District – Versailles, Ky.Purchase personal protective equipment for five new volunteer firefighters. Centerville Volunteer Fire Rescue – Paris, Ky.Purchase portable radio and headset. Clintonville Fire Department – Paris, Ky.Purchase 20 reflective vests. Hutchison Station Volunteer Fire Department – Paris, Ky.Equip brush/grass fire trailer with new hoses and nozzle for hose reel, wildland-type hose and nozzles and other wildfire hand tools. Owenton Volunteer Fire Department – Owenton, Ky.Purchase computer for use in field. Kentucky American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately half a million people.