WDAM-TV Hattiesburg

Pine Belt VFD receiving federal funding for fire safety improvement

By Renaldo Hopkins

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDAM) - A Pine Belt volunteer fire department will receive funding from a grant program created to improve fire safety.

According to the offices of U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program will award more than $1.8 million for eight fire safety improvement projects in Mississippi.

Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department in Marion County will receive $111, 000 to purchase two thermal imaging cameras, self-contained breathing apparatuses and additional facepieces.

The grant will be award by the United States 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,” Wicker said. “These AFG grants will enhance their response capabilities and improve safety, enabling firefighters to protect the public more effectively.”

“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 Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. “I am thankful for this substantial round of funding and looking forward to additional grants being awarded to more Mississippi fire departments.”

Other projects that will be funded by the $1,837,801.73 in FY 2020 AFG Program are listed below:
•  City of Biloxi, Harrison County - $805,518.18 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
•  Walthall Volunteer Fire Department Inc. - $50,476.19 to replace Personal Protective Equipment
•  City of Iuka, Tishomingo County - $48,619.05 to purchase extrication equipment
•  Puckett Volunteer 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.