By Melanie Patterson

The North Jefferson News

Mt. Olive Fire and Rescue Service has received almost $15,000 for the purchase of updated training materials for the department’s library.

The $14,592 operations and safety grant will provide for new training books, equipment manuals and videos.

“We’re very excited about it,” said Deputy Chief Marley Perkins. “All in all, this whole package will be to give us a library of training materials that we don’t have now ... It will be for firefighting, EMS training and drivers’ training.”

Perkins said the grant will help the department train new firefighters and provide ongoing in-service training of experienced personnel.

“It’s all to better train our firefighters and to give them the basic knowledge of firefighting,” said Perkins, who wrote the grant.

Mt. Olive Fire and Rescue Service has 45 volunteer firefighters, according to Perkins. The only paid staff member is Fire Chief Greg Fields.

The grant is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Funds awarded under that grant program are used to meet the firefighting and emergency needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated medical services organizations.

Mt. Olive was one of four fire departments in Congressman Spencer Bachus’ (AL-6) district to receive funds.

“Firefighters are on the front lines every day, protecting lives and saving property. They deserve modern equipment and the best in safety gear,” said Bachus in a press release. “This grant program helps ensure that fire companies have the necessary resources to quickly and effectively respond to emergency calls.”

Statewide, fire departments received almost $500,000 in Assistance to Firefighters Grants.

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