AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WFXG) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has given the South Carolina State Firefighters Association a grant for $1.5 million to be distributed throughout eleven counties.
Captain Brian Brazier with the Aiken Department of Public Safety says this is a huge help for the counties receiving the money.
"I thought it was just a plus for the fire service across the state to be able to receive the grant to hire the firefighters," he says.
The grant from FEMA will help add 900 firefighters throughout the state of South Carolina in 11 counties, including Allendale, Bamberg, and McCormick. Brazier believes South Carolina received the grant to help out some of the more rural areas in the state.
"We have so many rural fire departments throughout the state that they see the need to have paid people at all these stations," Capt. Brazier says.
The grant also provides the new firefighters with some of the essentials for their new job.
"The gear will be purchased from the South Carolina State Firefighters Association, and a separate purchase for pre-employment physicals and turnout gear for all the fireman that are hired," says Capt. Brazier.
The grant will finish up in five years, but brazier hopes this is a benefit the association continues to see.
"I'm sure the association will put in for renewal and hopefully FEMA will see that it's a good project and they need to keep backing it with another renewal for another five years," he says.
For more details on the grant and the full list of counties that will benefit, click here.