Serving Kenly, Selma, Smithfield, Princeton & Pine Level since 1973

Grant will provide more protective gear for Pine Level firefighters

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PINE LEVEL — The Pine Level Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a $4,227.50 grant through the state’s 2018 Volunteer Rescue/EMS Fund.

“The grant funds will be used to be purchase needed equipment using matching funds and must be approved by the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal,” said Pine Level Fire Chief Brannan Barbee.

“Equipment to be purchased will include protective clothing such as boots, hoods and gloves for our firefighters to assist with keeping them safe during emergencies,” Barbee explained. “The funding for this equipment is part of the beginning process in efforts to reduce the risks of firefighter cancer for our members by being able to replace contaminated gear after each fire event, which has been found to be a large cause in firefighter cancer.”

State lawmakers created the Volunteer Rescue/EMS Fund in 1989 to help volunteer units raise money for equipment and supplies.

“Fire and rescue organizations protect our communities large and small across the state, but sometimes their budgets do not grow with their responsibilities,” Mike Causey, the elected state insurance commissioner and fire marshal, said in a news release. “Our emergency service personnel should be supported with the best equipment and supplies needed to do their jobs correctly and safely. I know the Pine Level Volunteer Fire Department Inc., will use this money to serve their community even better.”

The grant funds must be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to an approved amount, by money raised locally to purchase necessary equipment. Since the program’s inception, the N.C. Department of Insurance has distributed $32,305,998.89 to rescue and EMS squads across the state.

The Pine Level Volunteer Fire Department has received a total of $7,922.56 from the fund since its inception.

“Thank you, Chief Barbee, for all of your hard work and thanks to your dedicated staff,” Causey said in the release.