Press Release

Congressman McHenry Announces $61,578 Homeland Security Grant to Lucia-Riverbend Volunteer 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, September 12, 2019 | comments
Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) announced $61,578 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 Lucia-Riverbend Volunteer Fire Department in Gaston County and comes in the third round of the 2018 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 (FEMA) in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.

According to Lucia-Riverbend Fire Chief David Toomey, the grant funds will be used to purchase twenty new full sets of turnout gear.  The gear will replace older turnout gear that does not meet current standards.

“The Lucia-Riverbend VFD protects a large area of northeastern Gaston County that has traditionally been rural, but which has experienced significant residential growth in the past decade,” said Congressman McHenry.  “I commend Chief Toomey and his team for writing a compelling grant and look forward to visiting the department in the future to congratulate them personally.”

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. 

Lucia-Riverbend is one of four 10th District departments to receive AFG funding thus far during the 2018 cycle with a total of $327,434 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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