FEMA grant funds awarded to fire and EMS departments in Columbus and West Point

Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 9:57 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Two fire and Emergency Medical Service departments in Columbus and West Point are receiving funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighter Grants Program to upgrade their departments.

“We’re just grateful to have the funds,” said Chief Derick Staley, of West Point Fire Department.

Nearly $560,000 were awarded to both West Point and Columbus Fire Departments. Both Congressman Drew Ferguson and Congressman Sanford Bishop behind the implementation.

Staley explained how the nearly $224,000 they’re receiving will help his department’s communication through radios and benefit the entire community.

“All of our emergency calls, we’re paged and dispatched over the radio system. So, that’s the way we receive all of our 911 calls. Once our units are in route, once they’re on the scene that’s gonna be their primary means of communication,” he said, “We also have radios in our EMS units to communicate with hospitals. With the helicopter services, we can communicate with them directly through these radios as well. So, it encompasses everything, and in the event firefighters need help, we have some dead zones in the city where we couldn’t get radio coverage.”

Staley said it will greatly improve communication to save lives faster.

Columbus, Division Fire Chief John Shull said the nearly $316,000 grant they’re receiving will go towards the physical health of fire and EMS workers in the Fountain City, and the money will be contributed to workout equipment, making sure firefighters are in necessary shape to tackle crisis.

“It’s a very hot day in Columbus today. That makes our job even more difficult. It’s more of a reason why we need to be in the best condition possible,” he said. “You want your firefighters to be in good condition so we’re proficient at what we do,” he said.