Owens Volunteer Fire Department has received a $29,700 federal grant with which it will buy equipment to extricate wreck victims.

Fire Chief Gary Lovell said Friday that he applied last year for the operations and safety grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“It was a $33,000 grant, but we have to do a 5-percent match,” he said. “We plan to buy rescue tools to do extractions at vehicle wrecks. We will get two or three quotes on the equipment before we buy,” he said.

Lovell said he tried to get a $200,000 grant for a new fire truck but was turned down.

“I’ll keep trying,” he said.

Owens was one of several fire departments and emergency responders that shared $4.7 million in grants to Alabama.

“Disaster preparation doesn’t begin when a hurricane is in the ocean or when flood waters are beginning to rise,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Phil May. “At the local level, true preparation begins by ensuring our first responders have the tools, skills and personnel to respond to any event.”

This week’s round of the national Assistance to Firefighters Grants includes money for first responders throughout Alabama, but only one fire department in Limestone County. Decatur Fire & Rescue received a $1.5 million grant to hire firefighters.

The full list of past and current recipients and other Assistance to Firefighter Grant program information is posted on the AFG Web site at: www.firegrantsupport.com.

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