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Posted on: September 3, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Fire Department Receives $10,000 Grant for Rescue Equipment

Fire Department
Sept. 3, 2019

The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded the Winston-Salem Fire Department a $10,000 grant that the department will use to purchase equipment for its swift water rescue team.

Capt. Chris Belcher said the department will purchase additional dry suits for water rescue operations.

The grant was provided through the Duke Energy Foundation’s Powerful Communities program. The foundation last week announced more than $1.1 million in storm resiliency grants to 65 organizations in North Carolina to increase their response capabilities for future weather events with advance preparation and planning.

"We’re very grateful to the Duke Energy Foundation for awarding us the grant," Belcher said. "We do not have enough rescue suits for all our personnel and this will help fill that need."

The department’s swift water rescue team is trained to rescue people trapped in flooded buildings and vehicles and recover drowning victims. It deploys to assist other counties when needed, such as when the team deployed to Harnett County, Pittsboro and Wilmington after Hurricane Florence.

More than 140 organizations applied for the grants, said Stephen De May, North Carolina president, Duke Energy. "The overwhelming response to this grant opportunity underscores the profound need of our communities – many still recovering from the devastation of last year’s storms," De May said. "We want to help our communities become more resilient to the impacts of a major storm."

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