WTOK-TV Meridian
Mississippi fire departments get federal grants
WASHINGTON (WTOK)- U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., today announced the award of $851,954 in FEMA grants to fire departments in Columbus, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Senatobia, Laurel, Bentonia, and Woodville. The grants are being awarded as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
“Continual investments in equipment and personnel are necessary to ensure our firefighters have the resources they need to respond to emergency situations,” Wicker said. “These FEMA grants are an important aid for Mississippi fire departments to improve operations in ways that protect our communities.”
“FEMA awards these grants to help ensure fire departments are ready and capable to act during all types of emergencies,” Hyde-Smith said. “I commend these Mississippi communities for successfully competing for this public safety funding.”
The grants were awarded following a competitive process and include support for the following projects:
•    Columbus Fire and Rescue, City of Columbus – $318,183 to purchase a new pumper truck
•    Biloxi Fire Department, City of Biloxi – $150,446 to fund operations and safety equipment
•    Central Lamar Volunteer Fire Department, City of Hattiesburg – $277,468 to hire three 24-hour firefighters
•    Senatobia Fire Department, City of Senatobia – $56,429 to fund operations and safety projects
•    Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department, City of Laurel – $26,667 to purchase 10 sets of personal protective gear for new volunteers
•    Bentonia Volunteer Fire Department, City of Bentonia – $19,048 to purchase thermal imaging cameras
•    Wilkinson County Board of Supervisors, City of Woodville – $3,743 to fund operations and safety projects
The AFG program is designed to improve communities’ overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. Since FY 2001, the AFG Program has provided approximately $7.1 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training.