The Denver Volunteer Fire Department was awarded an $8,630.70 grant from the state of North Carolina in order to help provide updated equipment and supplies.
The grant was issued on Dec. 15 from the Department of Insurance and the Office of the State Fire Marshal after the Denver Fire Department applied for it on Oct. 1.
â€œWe are so thankful for the support from the state to keep us updating our equipment,â€ said fire Capt. Matt Gunter.
The grant is a 50/50 match enabling the fire department to purchase equipment while the state will cover half of the cost.
Gunter said the equipment has been purchased and a receipt was sent on April 30 to the state.
The new supplies are rescue equipment, which include: 150 tons of paratech airbags to assist in lifting vehicles, a master control kit for the airbags, a paratech 40 impact hammer kit and 10 carbon fiber self contained breathing apparatus cylinders.
The cost of the items was $17, 261.40.
All the supplies purchased will be used to assist with vehicle extrication and other emergency situations such as a building clapsing.
The newer equipment was needed in order to enable the fire department to upgrade from a medium to heavy rescue classification. These different levels of a rescue are issued by the state. The classifications are light, medium or heavy.
Gunter hopes to complete the heavy rescue certification in the future.
â€œThis new equipment will help bring us up to speed,â€ he said.
After the fire department approves its budget it will upgrade to a heavy classification if it is possible. More equipment will be needed in order to make this possible. The budget will be approved by July 1, Gunter said.
The grant was open to all fire departments and rescue squads in the state of North Carolina.
The General Assembly created the Volunteer Rescue/EMS grant fund in 1989 to help volunteer units raise money for equipment and supplies. During State Fire Marshal Jim Longâ€™s tenure in office, the Department of Insurance has distributed a total of $54,166,042 in grant money to fire and rescue departments throughout the state.
The total amount of grants approved for Lincoln County is $593,404.90. The Denver Fire department has had $8,798.50 awarded to them with the most recent being a grant last year from the federal government.
by Amy Wadsworth