By Chris McCarthy/ Publisher/Editor
Thanks to a line item appropriation by local state legislators, the coffers of area volunteer fire departments are a little bit bigger.
On behalf of the Alabama Forestry Commission, state representatives Mack Butler and Becky Nordgren and House Minority Leader Craig Ford presented grant checks to several Etowah County volunteer fire departments on May 15 at the Etowah County Sheriff’s Department Building in Gadsden.
Ford said that he and his fellow local legislators always work to make sure that the money in the budget earmarked for the volunteer fire departments is protected.
“Mack and Becky and myself had a meeting in my office about two weeks ago, and one thing we wanted to do was release more money to the fire departments that had gone out in the areas where the tornadoes hit and try to replenish some of their supplies,” said Ford.
“So we threw partisan politics aside and came together to support our volunteer fire departments. We knew that at the time you were helping a lot of people who couldn’t help themselves. In my opinion, we have the best volunteer fire departments in Alabama.
I brag about our fire departments across the state, as I know Mack and Becky also do. You are our first responders, and I don’t know what we’d do without you.”
Etowah County AFC representative Jason Wolfe noted that the monies will help the departments better equip themselves in order to be more effective in protecting property and saving lives.
“Representative Ford and representative Butler and I worked together recently to get these funds, and I just want to say how very, very grateful we are of our fire departments,” said Nordgren.
“We know that you’re are not shy about calling us when you need something, and we want you to continue to do that, because we have a listening ear.”
Butler said that as a first responder with the sheriff’s department, he’s seen firsthand what the local volunteer fire departments can accomplish in an emergency.
“I’ve worked hand-in-hand with a lot of you guys, including over at Smith’s Institute a few weeks ago. Craig calling us together was the right thing to do. Our job is to get you the tools that you need, and it allowed us to help those who help others.”