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Rockefeller, Manchin announce grants for WV volunteer fire departments

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U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., announced May 16 volunteer fire departments in Benwood and Coalton will receive a total of $86,656 under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

The funds will go toward operations and safety, and can be used to purchase training and protective gear and equipment for wellness and fitness, as well as to make health and safety improvements to stations and facilities.

The Benwood Volunteer Fire Department will receive $14,836, and the Coalton Volunteer Fire Department $71,820.

“Our courageous first responders at our local fire departments voluntarily put their lives on the line every day to help protect the people of West Virginia,” Manchin said. “My prior experience working with the volunteer rescue squad in Marion County has allowed me to experience and appreciate their hard work and dedication first-hand. These grants provide our fire departments with the necessary resources to respond to all emergencies and to keep our communities safe.”

Rockefeller echoed Manchin’s comments, explaining West Virginia firefighters are quick to action.

“West Virginia’s fire fighters are always so brave when stepping up to protect our families and our communities. Because success and safety in their jobs is so important, we must do all we can to make sure they are properly equipped to respond to emergencies,” said Rockefeller. “This funding for the Benwood and Coalton Volunteer Fire Departments will help in meeting this very important obligation to the incredible men and women who selflessly and constantly give of themselves for the safety of others.”

A program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and to enhance their ability to protect the public and first responders from fire and related hazards.