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Rahall Announces Funding for Bluefield Firefighters
BECKLEY, W.Va. - U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) Wednesday announced the City of Bluefield Fire Department has been awarded federal funding to strengthen its operations and response capabilities.
“These funds are a lifeline for so many of our rural fire departments,” said Rahall. “In West Virginia, there is an incredible amount of dedication to and sacrifice for our neighbors and communities, and we need to match that local commitment at the federal level because it saves lives and levels the playing field. I will keep fighting hard to ensure these funds are preserved and that firefighters have the resources they need to protect themselves and to safeguard our families and communities.”
The Bluefield Fire Department will receive $76,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to purchase an hydraulic auto extrication system and an air compressor to service self-contained breathing apparatus equipment for firefighting personnel in Bluefield as well as the west end of Mercer County.
“I give special thanks to Congressman Rahall for his assistance,” said Bluefield Fire Captain Glenn Sutphin. “We are very appreciative of the support and help he has given us, as well as the letters of support we received from Senators Manchin and Rockefeller.”
The grant announced today is included in Round 2 of the competitive FY 2012 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program awarded by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration. The AFG program awards grants directly to fire departments and Emergency Medical Service organizations to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel. Local fire departments can use the funding to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training. Since 2002, fire departments and EMS organizations in southern West Virginia have received over $22 million in federal funding through the AFG program.