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McHenry Announces Assistance to Cleveland County Firefighters

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Posted by on March 28, 2013
Congressman McHenry Announces $78,375 Homeland Security Grant to Waco Community Volunteer Fire Department in Cleveland County
U.S. Department of Homeland Security awards Assistance to Firefighter Grant funds to local department

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) announced $78,375 in a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant to a local fire department in the Tenth Congressional District.

The grant will go to the Waco Community Volunteer Fire Department in Cleveland County, and comes in the nineteenth round of the 2012 fiscal year Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), which aims to help firefighters and first responders throughout the country.  Local departments applied for the grants, and the program is administered by the Grant Programs Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.  

According to Waco Fire Chief Kevin Gordon, the grant funds will be used to purchase dual band communications equipment.  “Our response area lies in both Cleveland and Gaston Counties,” said Chief Gordon.  “Cleveland County Emergency Communications operates on an 800 megahertz system and Gaston County does not, making interoperability an issue for a department such as ours.  These radios will allow us to operate seamlessly no matter which county we are responding in.”

“Waco is blessed to have a professional fire service with Chief Kevin Gordon at the helm,” commented Congressman McHenry.  “I was proud to visit their department a few years ago and commend them for their dedication to serving their community.” 

A panel of fire experts at DHS awards AFG grants through a competitive review process.  Congressman McHenry hosts workshops for 10th District EMS and fire departments to help guide personnel through the process and give them an inside view of what the committee looks for.  The workshops are taught by Cherryville Fire Chief Jeff Cash, a nationally recognized expert in his field and former member of DHS’s AFG review committee.  Since Congressman McHenry and Chief Cash began the program, 10th District EMS and fire departments have consistently won more grants than departments in most of North Carolina’s other Congressional Districts.  

During the 2011 AFG funding cycle, $107,015 was awarded in six grants in the 10th District. Thus far in the 2012 funding cycle, $34,303 has been awarded to 10th District departments.

Grants will continue to be announced in rounds weekly through the coming months.  

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