Mississippi fire chiefs call for more federal grants for state fire departments


COLLINS, Miss. (WDAM) — Mississippi fire chiefs just returned from a trip to Washington, DC, where they lobbied members of Congress for more federal grants for Mississippi’s fire departments.

Collins Fire Chief John Pope, who is also president of the Mississippi Firefighters Association, led the delegation, which included fire chiefs from Greenville, Starkville, New Albany and Louisville as well as Chickasaw and Lamar counties.

They participated in meetings of the Congressional Fire Services Institute.

They want to see the state receive more federal grants for equipment, training and staffing.

“These are probably the most productive meetings we’ve had since attending, very receptive and engaging conversations with our congressmen and senators,” Pope said. “Of course, meeting the whole delegation allowed us to share the concerted message together, to let them know what we are up against.”

“Last year, Mississippi only received 21 (firefighters assistance grants). Beside us in the states east or west of us, some of these states have received over 140 grants. So you can see a disparity there, we want Mississippi to get its fair share.

Meanwhile, the Collins Fire Department just got a grant from the Mississippi Department of Homeland Security for nearly $90,000.

It will be used for equipment and training resources.

The CFD also applied for another $225,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Homeland Security, which would be used to improve training.

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