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Firefighters receive $22,000 Duke Energy grant

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SMITHFIELD — The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded the Smithfield Fire Department a $22,000 grant to assist with storm-related rescues.

Duke Energy says it has awarded more than $1.1 million to help North Carolina communities increase response capabilities for severe weather with advance preparation and planning.

There were 65 grant recipients selected from more than 140 applications. The projects awarded across the state included swift water rescue equipment, specialized radios, nonprofit training and Spanish language outreach.

The Smithfield Fire Department had requested a $42,113 grant

“We are very excited about this opportunity provided by the Duke Energy Foundation Grant,” Smithfield Fire Chief John Blanton said in a news release. “We will be able purchase water rescue equipment that will increase our ability to assist the public during emergency events that leads to the preservation of human life. During the last major hurricane event, Smithfield performed 44 water rescues without the needed equipment. With this grant, we are able to perform much safer rescues with the additional equipment and training this grant will provide us.”