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VFDs awarded annual grants

The Alabama Forestry Commission distributed $21,152 to 20 Covington County volunteer fire departments Tuesday.

The annual state grants are for specific uses, Brandon Holland, the vice president of the Fire Association, and secretary of River Falls VFD said.

“We can use the money on anything from truck payments to building maintenance,” Holland said. “This year, we will use the money to purchase new structural turnout gear.”

“With our money, we are planning to put back into the Alabama Forestry Commission. In past years, we purchased protective gear, and more equipment for our brush truck,” Opp Fire Chief Corey Spurlin said.

Some departments still have to make payments on their trucks, meaning they rely on donations to help with operating costs.

The money can also be used to pay for fuel, vehicle insurance, and workers compensation insurance. The money has to be accounted for and a report is to be turned into the Alabama Forestry Commission every year.

Representatives of the Alabama Forestry Commission meet regularly with the county’s volunteer fire departments.

“The Alabama Forestry Commission is the agency that oversees the institution and organization of all of the volunteer fire departments.” Covington County Forester, Adam Bowers explained.

The AFC is also responsible for ensuring the volunteer fire departments are certified.

Volunteers are always wanted, with no experience needed. To find out more about volunteering with a local volunteer department, visit the Covington County Fire Facebook page.

The 20 VFDs awarded money included:

  • Antioch
  • Babbie
  • Buck Creek
  • Carolina
  • Florala
  • Gantt
  • Heath
  • Hopewell
  • Libertyville
  • Loango
  • Lockhart
  • Onycha
  • Opp (combination)
  • Red Level
  • Red Oak
  • River Falls
  • Rose Hill
  • Sanford
  • Union Grove
  • Wing