By Jesse Wood
About 15 volunteer fire departments in the High Country received matching grants worth more than $250,000 from the 2015 Volunteer Fire Department Fund, N.C. Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshall Wayne Goodwin announced on Monday.
Fire departments in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties were among 574 departments that received more than $9.5 million in grants from the fund that is administered by the state fire marshal’s office.
Locally, the Zionville Volunteer Fire Department in Watauga County was the only department to receive the maximum award amount of $30,000. See the 50-50 matching grant amounts below:
- Banner Elk Volunteer Fire Department: $23,434
- Crossnore VFD Inc.: $19,957
- Elk Park VFD: $20,000
- Fall Creek VFD of Avery County: $24,835
- Frank VFD: $20,000
- Green Valley VFD of Avery: $19,999
- Creston Volunteer Fire Department: $20,578
- Fleetwood Volunteer Fire & Rescue: $14,102
- Glendale Springs VFD: $18,750
- Lansing Volunteer Fire & Rescue: $14,243
- New River Volunteer Fire & Rescue Dept.: $14,686
- Warrensville Volunteer Fire & Rescue Dept. $7,046
- Zionville Volunteer Fire Department: $30,000
- Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department: $29,981
In 1988, the N.C. General Assembly created this matching grant fund to help local departments purchase equipment and fund other capital expenditures.
“I’m proud that so many fire departments are taking advantage of this important grant program. These grants help our volunteer fire departments stretch their budgets to better serve their communities,” said Goodwin.
Since the program began nearly 30 years ago, volunteer fire departments in North Carolina have been awarded more than $110 million.
See a full list of the 2015 Volunteer Fire Department Fund grant recipients at: http://www.ncdoi.com/OSFM/Fire_Rescue_Grants_and_Relief_Funds/Documents/2015FireGrantAwards.pdf