Special to HNN provided from Rep. Nick Rahall Statement
BECKLEY, W.Va. - U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) today announced the Culloden Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $8,455 to strengthen preparedness and response capabilities.

"Our firefighters face a whole host of life-threatening circumstances when they are called to action," Rahall said. "Being ready and capable of handling these emergency situations helps them protect us and gets them safely back to their homes and their families."

The Culloden Volunteer Fire Department will use the funds to purchase personal protective gear and equipment for a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT).

“Our firefighters put themselves in danger to save others,” said Brent Burger, Culloden VFD Fire Chief. “This funding means we will have a RIT equipped and ready on scene to rescue any personnel who may become trapped or endangered while fighting a fire.”

The grant is awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration, under the Fiscal Year 2010 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.  The funding can be used to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training.

The AFG program awards grants directly to fire departments and Emergency Medical Service organizations to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel. To date, West Virginia has received a total of $1,670,998 through the AFG program in Fiscal Year 2010.