U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith announced the award of $5,172,039 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants to fire departments in Jackson, Canton, Walls, Grenada, Iuka, Columbus, Pascagoula, Laurel, Puckett, Biloxi, New Site, Sandersville, and Utica.
The funding includes $3.4 million for Jackson and $883,782 for Canton to hire firefighters.
“Ensuring that our local fire departments have the manpower, tools, and training they need to keep Mississippians safe is of vital importance,” Wicker said. “I am especially glad to see that two large grants have been awarded to the Capital region to support the hiring of new personnel who will help meet the around-the-clock needs of these communities.”
“The Homeland Security Department and FEMA administer these grants to support communities’ efforts to improve public safety through sufficiently staffed and well-equipped fire departments. I’m pleased these Mississippi cities successfully competed for this federal assistance,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.
Jackson, Canton, and Utica are receiving Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants to help increase the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. Other Mississippi communities are receiving Assistance to Firefighters Grants, which are awarded directly to first-responder organizations to assist in obtaining emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, and training, as well as firefighting and emergency vehicles.
The grants were awarded following a competitive process and include support for the following projects:
- City of Jackson – $3,473,190 for hiring of firefighters
- City of Canton – $883,782 for hiring of firefighters
- Walls Volunteer Fire Department, Walls – $163,017.14 for operations and safety equipment
- Elliott Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Grenada – $156,428.57 for vehicle acquisition
- City of Iuka – $143,857.14 for operations and safety equipment
- City of Columbus – $96,284.54 for personal training equipment
- City of Pascagoula – $70,535.45 for operations and safety equipment
- City of Laurel – $65,734.28 for operations and safety equipment
- Puckett Volunteer Fire Department, Puckett – $46,714.28 to purchase self-contained breathing apparatuses
- City of Biloxi – $31,032.38 for fire prevention and safety programs
- New Site Volunteer Fire Department, New Site – $24,725.71 for operations and safety equipment
- Town of Sandersville – $15,238.09 for operations and safety equipment
- Utica Volunteer Fire Department, Utica – $1,500 for recruitment and retention programs