The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has approved 20 Mississippi grant applications that will direct more than $1.47 million to local fire departments in the state.
The FY2009 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program awards will support operations and safety projects undertaken by local and volunteer fire departments. The grant program was funded by Congress in the FY2009 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.
“These grants are intended to help small, local fire department and emergency medical service teams improve their service to the public and to hone their first-responder capabilities,” said Sen. Thad Cochran, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.
These grants are awarded on a competitive basis by the Federal Emergency Management Agency 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.
Operations and safety grants may be used for training and equipment, as well as health and safety modifications to stations and facilities. Vehicle acquisition funds may be applied to a variety of eligible vehicles, ranging from pumpers to rescue vehicles to fireboats.
Copiah County volunteer fire department included in the FY2009 Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program is Strong Hope Fire Department, Wesson, which has been awarded $199,500 for vehicle acquisition.