On April 11, Flathead Electric Co-op's Roundup for Safety Board awarded $52,174 in grant funds supporting 13 community safety projects.  

On April 11, Flathead Electric Co-op’s Roundup for Safety Board awarded $52,174 in grant funds supporting 13 community safety projects.  

The Columbia Falls Fire Department (CFFD) requested $10,000 towards the purchase of a respirator fit tester. This device tests firefighters’ masks to ensure proper, safe fit. “We wear these masks when we enter structure fires,” explained Fire Chief Karl Weeks, “and the fit tester makes sure that dangerous gases don’t enter our masks as we work. Those gases are a short-term and long-term hazard for firefighters, as they respond to emergencies, and further down the road.”

Each firefighter has his or her own mask and the fit test is performed at least once annually. The CCFD plans to offer use of the device to other area firefighters. In 2023, the CFFD responded to 24 structure fires, plus multiple structure fire trainings. 

Photo courtesy Columbia Falls Fire Department.

Faced with more worthy requests than Roundup for Safety could fully support, the Board approved $5,000 in grant funds towards the respirator fit tester, and encouraged the many applicants in the audience to ensure they are rounding up their electric bills to support the program.  

April grantees also include: 

  • Senior Mobile Home Repairs – safety repair work — $5,000 
  • Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley – electrical safety — $3,000 
  • Community Action Partnership of NWMT – safety lighting — $5,500 
  • Deer Park Elementary School – doors, keys, fobs — $4,000 
  • Project Whitefish Kids – baseball nets — $2,500 
  • ImagineIF Library Foundation – ADA doors — $5,000 
  • Glacier Hockey Association – laceration prevention equipment — $674 
  • Whitefish Christian Academy – camera system — $6,000 
  • Glacier 4-H Club – InReach minis — $1,000 
  • Glacier Queer Alliance – AED, first aid kit — $2,500 
  • Epworth United Methodist Church – stair safety — $4,000 
  • Heritage Academy – window safety film — $2,000 
  • Boys and Girls Club of Glacier Country – building safety upgrades — $6,000 


RoundUp for Safety Flathead Electric CooperativeRoundup for Safety is a voluntary program for Co-op members who round up their electric bills to the next dollar. This money is managed by an independent board and goes into a fund for community safety projects. If your nonprofit is interested in applying for community safety funds, visit our Roundup for Safety page or call the Roundup for Safety Board Liaison:

More Light Reading Newsletter Posts