Itawamba County Times

County volunteer fire departments set to receive over $700k in assistance

Itawamba County Times
August 18, 2021

Itawamba County volunteer fire departments are set to receive over $700k in Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) funds to purchase self-contained breathing apparatuses.

The AFG program will be awarded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.

“Our local firefighters are on the front lines when it comes to keeping Mississippians safe,” U.S. Senator Roger Wicker said in a press release last week. “These AFG grants will enhance their response capabilities and improve safety, enabling firefighters to protect the public more effectively.”

The primary goal of the AFG is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations.

“Firefighters require proper equipment to keep Mississippians safe. These FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants will allow these departments to acquire the equipment and training necessary to improve their public safety responsibilities,” said U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security 
Appropriations Subcommittee. “I am thankful for this substantial round of funding and look forward to additional grants being awarded to more Mississippi fire departments.”

The $1,837,801.73 in FY 2020 AFG Program funds will support the following projects:
• City of Biloxi, Harrison County – $808,518.18 for firefighter mental health and wellness programs and to purchase self-contained breathing apparatuses
• Itawamba County – $713,045.45 to purchase self-contained breathing apparatuses for volunteer fire departments in the county
• Tri Community Volunteer Fire Dept., Marion County – $111,000.00 to purchase two thermal imaging cameras, self-contained breathing apparatuses, and additional face pieces
• Walthall Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Webster County – $50,476.19 to replace Personal Protective Equipment
• City of Iuka, Tishomingo County – $48,619.05 to purchase extrication equipment
• Puckett Vol Fire Department, Rankin County – $47,571.43 to purchase jaws of life equipment
• City of New Hebron, Lawrence County – $41,428.57 to purchase self-contained breathing apparatuses
• Walters Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Rankin County – $17,142.86 to purchase two thermal imaging cameras

These awards are part of Round Four of the competitive FY 2020 AFG announcements.

Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.