U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $50,000 in federal funding for the Cheriton Volunteer Fire Company to replace personal protective equipment and help ensure the safety of firefighters. Specifically, the funding will be used to replace expiring turnout gear and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which shield the body from extreme heat and offer respiratory protection when firefighters enter smoky and toxic environments. The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Rural Development division’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant program, which provides funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas, including public safety services like fire departments.
Statement from Kaine and Warner–“Firefighters provide critical services to protect communities across the Commonwealth, and it’s important that they have the equipment they need to stay safe. We’re glad this funding will upgrade protective gear for firefighters in Cheriton.”
Warner and Kaine have long supported firefighters. The senators helped pass the Fire Grants and Safety Act, legislation to ensure years of continued funding for grant programs that support fire departments and firefighters across the Commonwealth. Kaine has also introduced legislation to support firefighter and first responder mental health.