Congressman McHenry Announces $457,992 in Homeland Security Grants to Cool Springs VFD in Iredell County

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

Washington – Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) announced a combined $457,992 in U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants to a local fire department in the Tenth Congressional District.

The grants will go to the Cool Springs Volunteer Fire Department in Iredell County. The larger of the two grants, awards $280,320 to Cool Springs and comes in the fourth round of the 2020 fiscal year 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. 

Cool Springs Fire Chief Andy Webster announced the SAFER grant will fund several initiatives aimed at increasing volunteer recruitment including a pay-per-call stipend, new turnout gear for recruits, and an LED recruitment and marketing sign.

The second grant awards $177,672 to Cool Springs and comes in the seventh round of the 2020 fiscal year Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The AFG Program aims to help firefighters and first responders throughout the country and may be used for equipment or vehicle acquisition or for regional, multi-agency requests. Chief Webster said the AFG grant will purchase twenty-five new air packs and accompanying facepieces to replace old, out-of-date equipment

“To win either a SAFER Grant or an AFG Grant is already an incredible accomplishment for a fire department, but to bring home both in the same year is a rare and tremendous feat,” said Congressman McHenry. “Chief Webster and his department should be very proud of this and all the great work they do for Iredell County.”

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.

Cool Springs is one of six Tenth District departments to receive SAFER funding and one of four to receive AFG grants thus far in the FY 2020 grant cycle. A total of $1,454,252 has been awarded in SAFER grant funds in the Tenth District and $603,387 has been awarded in AFG funding.

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

Author: Heather Gessler