NASHVILLE—State Senator Steve Southerland (R-Morristown) said he is very pleased that three Volunteer Fire Departments in Cocke County have been selected to receive funding through the Volunteer Firefighter Equipment and Training Grant Program.

The program was set up under legislation which Southerland co-sponsored in the General Assembly last year. The program helps Tennessee’s volunteer fire departments purchase equipment. It also provides essential funds to help them meet local matching requirements for federal grants for this purpose.

“Our firefighters risk their lives to keep our community safe,” said Senator Southerland. “It is imperative that they have the training and resources they need to stay safe. These grants are going to help us accomplish that.”

“I thank all of our firefighters and first responders for their daily commitment to saving lives and I will continue fighting to bring more funding home,” he added.

The volunteer fire departments receiving the grants are the Grassy Folk Volunteer Fire Department for $10,000, the Del Rio Volunteer Fire Department for $12,200, and the Cosby Volunteer Fire Department for $8,275.

The majority of Tennessee’s firefighters are volunteers. The 22,065 active firefighters that have been reported to the SFMO consist of 14,218 (64.4%) volunteers and 7,847 (35.6%) career firefighters.

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