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Two fire departments receive grants

By Ben Flanagan

The Isabella and Union Grove volunteer fire departments each received federal grants last week to enhance their response capabilities.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency rewarded the funds as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which is designed to protect the health and safety of the public with respect to fire and other hazards.

The grants also enable local fire departments and emergency medical services organizations to purchase equipment or receive training.

The Union Grove Volunteer Fire Department, located in Jemison, received $261,250 to purchase a fire truck.

Union Grove department chief Robin Ellison said he was a bit surprised but totally grateful to learn his station would receive the funds.

He said they will purchase a new $300,000 fire truck, of which they will only have to pay five percent.

Ellison said the truck would be a multifunctional rescue pumper the firefighters could use on the interstate.

“There’s a pretty good need for it,” he said. “It was a long shot going for another truck with the grant, but I’m glad we did.”

Their current primary truck is a 1985 model, which will become the station’s secondary response vehicle.

Members of the Isabella Fire and Rescue Department could not be reached for comment.

Their grant is worth $13,300 for operations and safety.