Press Release

Congressman McHenry Announces $69,716 Homeland Security Grant to Bessemer City Fire Department in Gaston County

U.S. Department of Homeland Security awards Assistance to Firefighter Grant funds to local department

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Washington, July 13, 2017 | comments

Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) announced $69,716 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 Bessemer City Fire Department in Gaston County, and comes in the tenth round of the 2016 fiscal year Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), which aims to help firefighters and first responders throughout the country.  Local departments apply for the grants from the program which is administered by the Grant Programs Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration. 

According to Bessemer City Manager James Inman, the grant funds will be used to purchase various vehicle extrication and rescue equipment such as hydraulic cutters, spreaders and stabilization equipment. 

“This is the latest grant Bessemer City has been successful in earning in the past few years,” said Congressman McHenry referring to a recent Department of Justice COPS Grant and a combination grant/loan through USDA Rural Development to fund municipal infrastructure improvements.  “I enjoyed visiting with Mayor Becky Smith and Bessemer City leaders recently to celebrate these achievements and I look forward to returning soon.”  

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 and Skyland Fire Department Assistant Chief Ryan Cole, both nationally recognized experts in their fields and former members of DHS’s AFG review committee.  Since Congressman McHenry, Chief Cash, and Assistant Chief Cole 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.  

Bessemer City is one of three 10th District departments to receive AFG funding thus far during the 2016 cycle with a total of $319,478 in AFG funds having been awarded among those departments.

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