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Grant will help buy equipment at Englehard

The Engelhard Volunteer Fire Department was awarded a $30,000.00 grant through the 2018 Volunteer Fire Department Fund from the state of North Carolina.

The money will be used to purchase needed equipment, according to Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey and Tony Spencer, the department’s chief.

“We are allowed to adjust quantities only and intend on focusing on replacing some 20+ year old turnout gear first. We obviously could not provide the same level of service without these grant funds and the match provided by Hyde County. This is the second year the county has provided the matching funds to (a) county department allowing us to update our equipment far beyond our normal capability. We are extremely grateful for the commissioners’ support as well as our communities,” Spencer wrote in an email.

The following items are among the equipment the department plans to purchase:

  • a portable radio;
  • electronic blood-pressure cuff;
  • turnout gear (gloves coats and pants);
  • fire hose and nozzles;
  • battery-powered rescue tools;
  • air compressor;
  • multi-unit radio charger;
  • winch with cable;
  • traffic-safety gear and signs.

“Fire and rescue organizations protect our communities large and small across North Carolina, but sometimes their budgets don’t grow with their responsibilities,” Causey said. “Our emergency service personnel should be supported with the best equipment and supplies needed to do their jobs correctly and safely.”

Causey added: “I know the Engelhard Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., will use this money to serve their community even better. Thank you, Chief Tony Spencer, for all of your hard work and thanks to your dedicated staff.”

The department has received a total of $96,111.14 from the Volunteer Fire Department Fund in the past 30 years since the program began.

The grant funds must be matched dollar-for-dollar for an amount approved up to $30,000, unless the department receives less than $50,000 per year from municipal and county funding, in which case the applicant shall match $1 for each $3 of grant funds up to $30,000. Since the program’s inception, the Department of Insurance has distributed $127,539,493.77 to volunteer fire departments across the state.

The N.C. General Assembly created the Volunteer Fire Department Fund in 1988 to help volunteer units raise money for equipment and supplies.