Help for first responders

Published 1:57 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Area first responders frequently put their lives and well-being on the line to assist when people need help the most.   

This is why we are relieved and excited to hear of greater emergency hand-held coverage and a grant to protect the health and safety of area first responders.

A money recently awarded to the Kenbridge Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD) of more than $54,000 in a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will allow the department to purchase a source capture exhaust system for the department’s firehouse.

Morgan White reported last week that KVFD Fire Chief Richard “Dickie” Harris said the system will help filter fumes emitted from the fire trucks out of the firehouse, which had not been in place at the firehouse before.

“We’re conscience about trying to protect our firefighters from cancer and the exhaust fumes, protect(ing) them from the diesel firetrucks,” Harris said. “…When we have a fire call we may crank up, or start up, three or four fire trucks at one time and it really becomes a real problem in the fire station with the exhaust fumes.”

Harris said the department applied for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) with help from the Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC).

The county has also been allowed to place emergency radio communication antennas atop the wireless tower erected in Dundas, by Verizon.

The additional signals will allow emergency first responders with hand-held radios to communicate with dispatchers, District One Supervisor T. Wayne Hoover said during this month’s Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

Hoover estimated there will be close to 98 percent hand-held coverage across the county as a result of the new tower.

We’re also pleased that with little hesitation, members of the board voted in favor of allocating county expenses of roughly $38,000 to this effort.

To include the Dundas coverage with the existing wireless coverage, Hoover said work will need to be done with with the existing transmission sites.

We hope this trend of county, state and federal assistance for area first responders in Victoria and Kenbridge will continue.