North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey, who is also the Tar Heel of the Year, is going across the State to deliver checks to rural volunteer fire departments. Friday, June 26, Commissioner Causey stopped by the Bladen County Emergency Services Training Center to deliver three checks to local rural fire departments.
In May, Commissioner Causey announced that Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina donated $500,000 to assist rural volunteer fire departments as part of their Rural NC Initiative for 2020.
At the time of the announcement, 94 departments in 36 rural counties were designated to receive the grant awards. Brian Taylor, Chief State Fire Marshal and Assistant Commissioner, who was also present on Friday, explained volunteer fire departments that received less than $50,000 from municipal and county governments and who applied for the grants received $5,000 each.
Ammon Fire Chief, Joshua Wilson and his son Mason accepted the check on behalf of the Ammon Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. Johnny Parks, Fire Chief with Carvers Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., accepted the check for the Carvers Creek fire department. Bladen County Fire Marshal, Kenneth Clark accepted the check on behalf of Brandon Norris for the Kelly Volunteer Fire Department.
Clark stated East Arcadia Volunteer Fire Department was in desperate need of funding but did not receive a grant. Assistant Commissioner Taylor informed Clark there are five remaining $5,000 grants available for rural fire departments in need. Any departments in need should apply for the funding.
Commissioner Causey stated his goal was to deliver each check personally. He is scheduled to present checks this week to the northern part of the State’s volunteer fire departments.
The awards are to be used for safety equipment purchases to help departments protect their firefighters and operate more safely during this coronavirus pandemic.
Most rural volunteer fire departments depend on fund-raising events to supplement their government funding. The recent restrictions on public gatherings have limited their ability to raise these funds.
About 4 million people live in North Carolina’s 80 rural counties.
For more information about the OSFM fire and rescue grants and relief funds, please visit https://ncdoi.com/OSFM/
To see which departments received $5,000 grants under this program, click here.