WILLIAMSON — The Williamson Fire Department has been awarded the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant, which will be used to purchase what fire chief Joey Carey says is much-needed equipment.
On Wednesday, Sept. 25, Carey received a letter from FEMA notifying him that the department had been awarded the grant, which is worth $162,383 with a 5% match of $7,732.53. The grant will be used to purchase 23 new self-contained breathing apparatus devices, which will replace the department’s current ones that were purchased in 2005.
“It’s really, really essential for the health of my firemen and their safety,” Carey said during his report to the Williamson City Council on Thursday, Sept. 26.
“It’s a much-needed $162,000. I’m almost certain if I asked council for approval of next year’s budget that I needed $162,000 to purchase new SCBAs, I would probably be denied. That’s just the way it is, but we’re lucky that we still have the AFG Grant, and we’re very, very fortunate here in Williamson to be able to receive this kind of money.”
Carey said he had applied for the grant for the past three years but finally got approved on his fourth try this year. He added that he is already working on applying for next year’s grant, which he intends to apply for a new fire engine and bucket gear with, and asked for the council’s approval to do so.
The council unanimously motioned to approve Carey’s request to apply for the grant once again.