U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, congratulated the Webster’s Chapel Volunteer Fire Department for receiving a grant award of $85,857.14 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Rep. Rogers said that the grant would help the fire department purchase new operations and safety equipment.
“Calhoun County’s first responders are our first line of defense,” Rogers said. “I congratulate Webster’s Chapel Volunteer Fire Department for receiving this grant and hope it will ultimately help increase the safety for all local citizens.”
Rogers said that the grant should be awarded under the 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
Rogers said that the Firefighters Grant Program is an essential federal program which supports first responders across Alabama and the nation.
“I am pleased to see the federal government is continuing to make these types of investments in the Third District,” Rogers added.
The Homeland Security Department administers the grant program. The purpose of the program is to award funding directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated EMS organizations and state fire training academies. The aim of these are to enhance first responders’ ability to protect the health and safety of the public, while enhancing the safety of the first-responder personnel, when confronting to fire-related hazards.
On average seven Americans die per day in U.S. home fires. Between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 358,500 home structure fires per year. These fires caused 12,300 civilian injuries and 2,510 civilian deaths. Those fires resulted in $6.7 billion in direct damage.
There are 802 fire departments in Alabama. 79.8 percent of those are volunteer, 9.2 percent are mostly volunteer, 3.5 percent are mostly career firefighters, and just 7.5 percent of fire departments are career departments.
Thus far in 2019 51 Alabamians have died in home fires. This year, Springville fire fighter Jared Echols died during a training exercise in Anniston and Palmerdale firefighter Brenden Pierce died while responding to a weather-related emergency.
Rogers serves as the Ranking Member on the Committee on Homeland Security in Congress. He is serving in his ninth term representing Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District. Rogers previously served in the Alabama House of Representatives and on the Calhoun County Commission. He is an attorney.