Chief Bryan Cathey is pleased to report that late on Thursday afternoon; August 31 Gibson County Fire Department was notified that the county had received the Recruitment and Retention grant that they applied for from AFG.
The county has previously applied for this grant in past to no avail. The department is so blessed to be named the recipient of this Recruitment and Retention grant in Gibson County.
As previously published in various articles, Gibson County and all across the United States, not only are they losing Volunteer Firefighters but as volunteers leave the service, there are few that are stepping up to fill Volunteer Firefighter manpower/woman power needs. Training requirements are the same for volunteers as required to become a full time paid fire fighter.
This AFG Recruitment and Retention grant written by Mr. Kris Todd was a challenging grant application consisting of 6 different categories. The total federal money received in this grant for Gibson County Fire Department is $582,612.00 to be utilized over a 4 year period. There is no match required financially from Gibson County. After the 4-year span, the Gibson County commission will have the option to fund all, part of, or none of the 6 projects originally provided by the grant.
A break down of the 6 project areas are as follows:
Recruitment & Retention Coordinato
Personal Protective Equipment for the New Recruits
Pay-Per-Call for Gibson County Volunteer Firefighters that respond to calls
Length of Service Awards or Retirement Program
NOTE: This Recruitment and Retention grant does not circumvent the previous 2 year grant that allowed the county to hire full time firefighters. The a fore mentioned AFG grant that allowed the county full time firefighters was for 2 years which will expire January 1, 2018.
Also this Recruitment & Retention grant is specifically intended for fire department functions and rescue efforts such as fires, wrecks, extraction, and searches. There is no funding allowed for medical first responder calls.
When Mayor Witherspoon was elected to office, Kris Todd took the reins and began writing AFG (Assistance to Firefighter Grant) for Gibson County Fire Dept. To date Gibson County Fire Department has received a little over $2.7 million dollars including this grant as well as $650 thousand dollars from CDBG grants that Mayor Witherspoon has submitted applications for and the fire department was awarded.
The CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) previously received funded 4 new Tanker/Pumpers for the county. They are in service and located at Moore’s Chapel, Brazil, Tyson and Good Luck Fire Departments. With previous years AFG grant money we were able hire 8 Firefighter/Medical 1st responders for a term of 2 years to help the shortage of day time help.
In other AFG grants we have been able obtain certified protective fire fighting turn out gear that meet or exceeds all safety standards. Air Packs throughout the county have been up graded to meet or exceed all safety standards. Upgraded and extra needed fire hose, nozzles, thermal imagining camera’s, up graded rescue equipment, lots of training and other needed equipment have been graciously obtained from these grants.