Cochran, Wicker Announce Grant Funding Worth $1 Million for 12 Mississippi Fire Departments

February 19, 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker today announced that 12 additional fire departments in Mississippi have been awarded grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help purchase new equipment and vehicles.  The funding, awarded as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), totals $999,315.      

“The equipment and improvements funded with these grants will help make these fire departments better prepared for emergency situations.  This is good news for those who rely on these departments for their public safety,” said Cochran, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.      
“Mississippi’s firefighters – many of them volunteers – are on the front lines when it comes to keeping people safe.  This important grant program ensures our firefighters have the resources to continue doing their jobs and protecting the public,” Wicker said.  

Today’s announcement brings to 49 the total number of local fire departments in Mississippi that have received AFG grants this year.  The AFG grant program was funded by Congress in the FY 2009 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.  

AFG grants are awarded on a competitive basis by FEMA in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.  Fire departments and emergency medical service organizations that are not affiliated with a hospital may apply for operations and safety or vehicle acquisition funding.

Vehicle acquisition funds may be used to purchase a variety of eligible vehicles, ranging from pumpers to rescue vehicles to fireboats.  Operations and safety grants are used for training and equipment, as well as health and safety modifications to stations and facilities.  

The following 12 new FY2009 Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program awards have been approved for Mississippi:

Vehicle Acquisition:
•    Quitman VFD, Quitman - $120,270
•    Desoto VFD, Shubuta - $118,750
•    Rustin VFD, Laurel - $190,000

Operations and Safety:
•    Southeast Rural VFD, Blue Springs - $55,100
•    Midway VFD, Iuka - $8,550
•    Greenleaf VFD, Coldwater - $22,335
•    Holly Bluff VFD, Holly Bluff - $65,997
•    Pelahatchie VFD, Pelahatchie - $58,361
•    Pinola VFD, Pinola - $123,956
•    Long Creek VFD, Meridian - $14,725
•    Loyd Star VFD, Brookhaven - $149,071
•    Sharon VFD, Laurel - $72,200