CORBIN, Ky. -- Today, Congressman Hal Rogers announced the West Knox Volunteer Fire Rescue Service has been awarded more than $242,000 to enhance local emergency response through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
The funding will be used to purchase 35 new breathing containers for local firefighters.
"This grant will go a long way to better protect our volunteer firefighters in Knox County as they bravely respond to emergency situations. These breathing devices are crucial to their health as they walk directly into toxic smoke and fiery situations," said Congressman Rogers. "As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have been a long-time advocate for federal support to supplement small budgets for rural, volunteer fire departments. Southern and Eastern Kentucky is blessed to have thousands of volunteer first responders across our region and they deserve our utmost gratitude and support."
"Thousands of people from across the U.S. volunteer their time to be firefighters. We give of our time and spend our own money to be able to help our communities. We do not consider ourselves special. We train, maintain our equipment, leave work and sometimes miss family events to do what we pledged to do. Then comes the time to raise the money to pay for the million dollars worth of equipment we need to do the job, and this is where Congressman Hal Rogers and others in his position come in," said Chief Darryl Baker, West Knox Volunteer Fire Rescue Service. "Without the state and federal grants, there is no way for us to afford most of our equipment, so for our communities this is a huge thing. Congressman Rogers has been there for us many times before and once again, he comes through. We will use this equipment to try and make the futures of our friends and neighbors a lot better."
The federal AFG Program will award approximately $315 million in competitive grants this year to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and other emergencies.
To learn more about Congressman Rogers' work in Washington, DC and across Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District, visit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and halrogers.house.gov.