FEMA grant to supply N. Mississippi fire department with new equipment - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Chip Washington

FEMA grant to supply N. Mississippi fire department with new equipment

LEWISBURG, MS (WMC-TV) - Volunteer firefighters in one Mississippi town are getting all new gear, thanks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Lewisburg is a very small but growing community just outside Olive Branch, Mississippi.  Recently, the volunteer fire department there received a grant of more than $31,000 from the federal government to improve safety and fund operations.

Horn Lake Fire Department Chief David Linville, who also oversees Lewisburg's fire department, said Monday it has been a struggle to get the town's volunteer department up to standards.  However, he said, things have gotten much better thanks to grants.

"In the past few years, yes, the grants that are out there are just as equally distributed to the volunteers as they are the paid departments," he said.

The new equipment, he said, will be a big help.

"Ten sets of turnout equipment for the firemen volunteers," he said. "It will be for the helmet, coat, pants, boots, gloves...and a thermo-imaging camera."
Last year, DeSoto County authorized a $400,000 renovation on the Lewisburg firehouse so it would be up to code.  Barry Caldwell, a volunteer firefighter in Lewisburg since 1989, says times have changed greatly since then, and so has the need.

"We didn't have that much to work with," he said. "We're getting where now that we can assist folks other than just fighting fires."

Lewisburg's volunteer fire department has about 30 members.  Many of those are paid firefighters from other areas who help out on their off-time.

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