Itawamba County Times

Local fire department among those receiving FEMA grant

By Teresa Blake

Last week, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith announced over $1.1 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant funding to support safety upgrades for fire departments in eight Mississippi communities. Northeast Itawamba Fire Department is among the recipients. The department will receive $3,811.43 for a thermal imaging camera.

“Each year, FEMA’s assistance to firefighters helps Mississippi communities make investments in the health, safety, and training of their emergency personnel,” Wicker said in the press release. “This first round of grants will ensure more firefighters across our state have access to the safety equipment they need to save lives.”

Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) are awarded on a competitive basis by FEMA in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.

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

Other counties receiving grants are Harrison County, Mendenhall Fire Department, Dry Creek Fire Department, New Albany Fire Department, Falkner Fire Department, Columbia Fire Department and Puckett Fire Department.

Many more Mississippi fire departments are expected to receive grants throughout the remainder of the year.

“Firefighters, as first responders, require proper equipment to do their jobs well. These Assistance to Firefighters Grants will help these departments acquire upgrades that they might have had to do without otherwise,” said Hyde-Smith. “I look forward to additional grants being awarded to municipal and volunteer departments throughout the state.”