The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) recently announced that 41 Tennessee volunteer fire departments were selected to receive funding through the Volunteer Firefighter Equipment and Training Grant Program. Three volunteer fire departments in Wayne County, Cypress Inn, Eagle Creek, and Lutts, are on the list to receive funding.
The program, which was created through legislation overseen by Governor Bill Lee and approved by the Tennessee General Assembly, earmarked $500,000 for the purchase of firefighting equipment by Tennessee’s volunteer fire departments or to help volunteer departments meet local matching requirements for federal grants for purchasing equipment.
“This program was created by Governor Lee and the General Assembly in order to help Tennessee’s volunteer fire departments be better equipped to serve their communities and potentially reduce tragic fire fatalities,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Hodgen Mainda. “I believe the equipment purchased through this program will one day help save lives and make Tennessee safer. I commend the Tennessee fire service for their bravery and their commitment to serving Tennessee communities.”
The majority of Tennessee’s firefighters are volunteers. The 22,065 active firefighters that have been reported to the SFMO consist of 14,218 (64.4%) volunteers and 7,847 (35.6%) career firefighters.
During the application period (Feb. 14 – March 27), the SFMO received over 170 applications from Tennessee fire departments. The applications were scored internally and submitted to a seven-member committee which made the final decision and award selection. Per statute, funds will be awarded equally to fire departments across Tennessee’s three Grand Divisions.
“Having the latest equipment is crucial to protecting the lives of firefighters,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner of Fire Prevention TDCI Gary Farley. “As a member of the fire service, I am proud to be associated with a program that is helping protect Tennessee firefighters who risk their lives every day for their communities.”