Black Volunteer Fire Department making upgrades

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT
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BLACK, Ala. (WTVY) - The Black Volunteer Fire Department receives just enough revenue from the Geneva County tobacco tax to keep the department afloat with no upgrades available, but this year the department is being granted hundreds of thousands of dollars from FEMA – how will they spend it?

It’s out with the old and in with the new with nearly $500,000 in federal grants.

The department was awarded two federal FEMA grants this year – including one for new breathing gear totaling $58,000 dollars

They’re also receiving an additional $332,000 grant for a new tanker truck.

This truck will be custom built and is expected to be in service by next summer.

The chiefs say the future of the department is looking better than ever.

“No one here makes a dime. Actually quite the opposite,” says assistant chief Dan Thomas. “Our guys don’t get paid per run. They actually come out of pocket for their own fuel. Come out of pocket for their own funds at times to help get things for this department. Their own time -- they’re spending a lot of volunteer hours here trying to make things better for this department”

BVFD Chief Richard Trinker is grateful for the new equipment. “We are only a little small department, and now we’re dressed up where we are going somewhere.”

The Black Volunteer Fire Department assists 10 other Geneva County fire departments and four Florida departments.

They said they are thankful for these upcoming improvements so that they can better serve their community.

The department is still dependent on community donations to help. They’re hosting a “womanless beauty pageant” as a fundraiser on September 18. The event will be at 5:00 at Black Community Park. All are welcome to enter, to reach the department call (334)684-0650.

All proceeds will go towards more new gear and supplies.

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