December 15, 2010

Rockefeller, Manchin, Rahall Announce $261,250 in Funding for Rhodell Volunteer Fire Department

Federal Funds Awarded Through Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin III, (both D-W.Va.), along with Congressman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), today announced that the Rhodell Volunteer Fire Department in Raleigh County will receive $261,250 in funding as part of the 2010 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. This money will assist with updating operations and safety equipment and vehicle acquisition.

“The people of West Virginia count on first responders to be there for our communities – their jobs are among the most important and skilled in the country and we thank them for their incredible service,” said Rockefeller.  “The money provided by this much needed grant is great news and will supply our brave first responders with the tools and equipment they need to keep us safe and secure.  This grant is important to our communities in a time when budgets are tight and needs are so great.  These grants will directly improve programs that greatly benefit the people of West Virginia.”

"Every day firefighters and emergency medical personnel put their lives on the line to protect our families and communities," Manchin said. "These funds will enhance working conditions and provide essential safety and emergency response equipment and training that is needed to perform their jobs as efficiently and safely as possible. This funding will hopefully make these difficult and dangerous jobs, a little easier."

“Our dedicated first responders are the front line of defense in times of crisis and emergency,” said Rahall.  “They deserve our best efforts, especially as state and local budgets are being reduced, to provide them with the funding they need to save lives.”

For Fiscal Year 2010, the AFG program will award a total of approximately $390 million in direct assistance to local fire department and emergency medical service organizations to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operations and emergency response capabilities. First responder organizations can use the funds to purchase response equipment, personal protective equipment and vehicles.

AFG grants are funded through the annual Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. Rockefeller has consistently supported funding for this program and for other first responder grant programs to ensure adequate funding and resources for America’s first responders.