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West Virginia American Water Company is giving $28,000 to 30 fire departments and emergency management services in the company’s service area to help them purchase new equipment and perform maintenance on existing equipment, according to a news release.

The financial assistance is part of WVAW’s seventh annual Firefighting Support Grant program, per the release.

“Now more than ever, our local fire departments need funding for community protection and emergency response efforts across West Virginia,” said Robert Burton, president of West Virginia American Water, in the release.

The receiving fire departments are in 10 counties: Boone, Cabell, Fayette, Kanawha, Lewis, Logan, Mercer, Putnam, Summers and Webster.

In Kanawha County, 12 fire departments will benefit from the grants, as well as three in Putnam County.

The total funds given and their intended use for recipients in Kanawha County are as follows:

  • $1,000 to the Belle Fire Department for handheld emergency radios;
  • $1,000 to the Handley VFD for firefighting gloves;
  • $938 to the Institute VFD for hand tools and harnesses for rescue missions;
  • $999 to the Jefferson VFD for a power tool system;
  • $1,000 to the Malden VFD for firefighting gloves;
  • $900 to the Nitro Fire Department for scuba dive tanks for underwater rescues;
  • $992 to the Pinch VFD for a band saw, cordless wrench, reciprocating saw and battery kits;
  • $948 Pratt Community VFD for safety vests, LED flare kits and survivor lights for automobile accidents;

$1,000 to the Rand VFD for handheld emergency radios;

  • $850 to the South Charleston Fire Department for a ladder and safety ropes;
  • $800 to the Tornado VFD for two thermal cameras for rescue missions;
  • $983 to the Tyler Mountain VFD for safety equipment for emergencies and accidents.

In Putnam County, Bancroft VFD will get $828 for personnel pagers, Culloden VFD will get $930 for firefighting gloves and Eleanor VFD will get $1,000 for cooling vests and a misting fan, per the release.

WVAW’s firefighting grant program started in 2013, and has since awarded more than $65,000 to 83 agencies in West Virginia, according to the release.

The recipients are selected by WVAW employees through a “rigorous” screening and application process, the release reads.

“We’re honored to continue this program with a record number of recipients in 2020,” Burton said. “We stand in support of the selfless first responders who keep our customers, employees and families safe every day.”