The Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department is taking steps to ensure the safety and quality of life of its members.
The HVFD received a federal grant of $124,540 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to purchase new turnout gear and equip its three fire stations with exhaust removal systems.
This helps bring us up into compliance for safety and welfare of our members, HVFD Chief Mike Musser said. National standards change periodically and this grant will allow us to remain in compliance to NFPA standards. Things have changed in prior years.
Musser said the turnout gear that is being purchased includes turnout coats, bunker pants and 10 new helmets and 10 new pairs of boots.
The exhaust systems, which will be installed in the main Hillsville station and the stations in Woodlawn and Dugspur to help draw away fumes from cranked fire trucks, since they are cranked inside of the facilities.
Basically what were after is for health and safety standards for people within the stations themselves, Musser said. Removing hazardous fumes from truck exhaust. Those fumes will unfortunately linger in the station for quite a while and will linger on the turnout gear and on peoples clothing. It will remove exhaust and filter to create a more healthful environment.
Musser said Brenda Marrah from the County Resource Office and Emergency Services Coordinator Joe Roma were instrumental in securing the grant.
They were the two people that drove this and made it possible for us, Musser said.
Once the grant proposal was written, U.S. Representative Rick Boucher was instrumental in getting it through in Washington. He said he was pleased that the HVFD was able to secure the money.
"I am pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has provided this funding to the Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department, Boucher said in a release. It is important to ensure the safety of our fire and rescue personnel, and today