Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) announced $217,232 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 Forbush Volunteer Fire Department in Yadkin County and comes in the fourth round of this year’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant awards. These grants assist local fire departments by enabling them to increase their staffing and deployment capabilities in order to better respond to emergencies whenever they may occur. 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.
Forbush Fire Chief Michael Couch explained that the grant would fund several initiatives aimed at recruiting new volunteers and keeping current volunteer firefighters active. These include a tuition assistance program to offset the increasing cost of training programs, a pay-per-call stipend, a travel reimbursement and other incentives.
Congressman McHenry applauded Forbush VFD for this accomplishment. “The SAFER Grant program is extremely competitive, and I congratulate Forbush for writing a winning grant," said McHenry. "Recruiting volunteers is becoming much more difficult and this grant will go a long way to helping add more firefighters to the Forbush roster.”
A panel of fire experts at DHS awards SAFER 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.
Forbush is one of six Tenth District departments to receive SAFER funding so far in the FY 2020 grant cycle with a total of $1,454,252 awarded among those departments.
Grants will continue to be announced in weekly rounds throughout the coming months.