Several West Virginia fire departments receive $3.8M in federal grant funding
Twelve fire departments in West Virginia are getting nearly $4 million in grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The money comes from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced the funding in a news release Thursday.
“Our brave West Virginia firefighters risk their lives every day to protect our communities, and we must ensure they have the necessary equipment and resources to do their jobs safely and effectively. I’m pleased FEMA is investing more than $3.8 million to strengthen fire safety through these twelve departments,” Manchin said in the release.
The grant funding comes after the state of West Virginia recently allocated $12 million for volunteer fire departments during a special legislative session last week.
The largest federal grant funding allocation is nearly $1 million to the Hanover Volunteer Fire Department in Wyoming County.
Robbie Bailey, president of the Wyoming County Firefighters Association, said the Hanover department was the lead agency applying for the countywide grant, but the money will be used to purchase new self-contained breathing apparatus, also called air packs, for all eight volunteer fire departments in Wyoming County.
“The benefit there is when you have departments working together on scenes, everybody’s equipment matches,” Bailey said. “And so it brings what they call interoperability to the safety of the fireground. So any airpack off any truck is the same in the county no matter what department you’re at. They all work the same, they match, the fittings match. Everything matches up.”
Interoperability is important, for instance, if a firefighter is trapped and others have to rescue them, Bailey said.
“If we have differing equipment for the individuals who have to go do that rescue, once they get in there, they may not be able to connect to that firefighter’s air pack or have the tools, the connections that match or the fittings the match,” he said.
Without the grant, Bailey said some of the fire departments would have been looking for third-party financing options to purchase the air packs.
“We’re very fortunate to be able to receive this grant and we look forward to working through it in the county and getting it put in service,” Bailey said.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program has also awarded the following amounts to the following fire West Virginia fire departments:
- $856,127 to the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department in Scott Depot
- $289,523 to the Kingwood Fire Department in Kingwood
- $287,619 to the Scotts Run Volunteer Fire Department in Morgantown
- $264,438 to the Shepherdstown Fire Department in Shepherdstown
- $262,323 to Frankford Volunteer Fire Department in Frankford
- $222,868 to the Delbarton Volunteer Fire Department in Delbarton
- $174,126 to the Union Community Volunteer Fire Department in Union
- $171,523 to the Eastwood Volunteer Fire Department in Davisville
- $123,933 to the Traphill Volunteer Fire Rescue in Glen Daniel
- $98,761 to the Alum Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Alum Creek
- $57,142 to the Bruceton-Brandonville Volunteer Fire Department in Bruceton Mills
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