The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Monday, May 26, 2014
By EMILY WOOD - News-Post Intern
The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has awarded over $7,000 in grants to five Franklin County volunteer fire departments.
The grants will be used to purchase protective equipment, communication gear, and other tools and training materials. VDOF monitors eligibility through receipts submitted from the fire departments for such purchases.
District Chief Riley Peters of the Boones Mill Fire Department said his team's grant will go toward purchasing brush turnout gear.
"It's light-weight gear that's used for fighting forest fires," Peters said. "It's better to use than the heavier gear we use to fight house fires."
District Chief Tim Jefferson of the Burnt Chimney Volunteer Fire Department has other aims for his team's grant.
"We were hoping to use it for new pagers and radio equipment to notify the other members when we have a call," Jefferson said.
John Miller, director of VDOF's resource protection division, spoke on behalf of the grant program on May 19.
"The VFA program provides vital funding to the many volunteer fire departments that assist us with the suppression of wildfires across the state," Miller said. "This money helps the (volunteer fire departments) purchase much-needed equipment that provides for the safety of both the public and these volunteer firefighters. I only wish we had enough funding to support all their needs."
The grant program is funded by the U.S. Forest Service. One hundred forty of the 171 fire departments to apply for grants were approved for awards this year. VDOFs 2014 awards totaled more than $199,000, each ranging from $315 to $2,435.
Local awards are as follows: Boones Mill Fire Department will receive $1,500, Burnt Chimney Volunteer Fire Department will receive $1,100, Callaway Volunteer Fire Department will receive $2,000, Fork Mountain Fire Department will receive $1,000, and Glade Hill Volunteer Fire Department will receive $1,500.