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WASHINGTON, D.C. — First responders in the Twin Counties have received more than $180,000 for emergency equipment through the federal stimulus package.
Ninth District Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) recently announced that Rural Development has awarded Carroll County $90,000 for new vehicles for the EMS and sheriff's office, as well as $64, s850 to Grayson and $28,875 to Galax.
Carroll EMS will buy a new ambulance with its $50,000 in grant money. A news release issued by Boucher's office says the additional ambulance for Carroll EMS will allow the emergency medical technicians to respond more quickly to emergencies in a larger area in the county.
The $40,000 that goes to the Carroll Sheriff's Office will replace three expensive-to-maintain older vehicles with three new ones.
Grayson County Sheriff's Office will receive $50,000 to purchase new vehicles, as well.
According to the release, the older vehicles are becoming costly to maintain due to high mileage. The new vehicles will ensure the safety of the department's members as they protect the various localities, Boucher said.
Galax Police Department is set to receive $28,875, which it will use to buy a new patrol vehicle and a new animal control vehicle to add to the vehicle fleet.
Additionally, Mount Rogers Rescue Squad will receive $14,850 to buy new communications and safety equipment.
The squad plans to purchase 10 new pagers to replace older models, as well as a new defibrillator to replace a 30-year-old unit that no longer works.
The squad — which protects 180 square miles of Grayson, Smyth and Washington counties — has 15 members, all of whom serve on a voluntary basis.
It's important to ensure the safety of law enforcement and rescue personnel, even as they serve the public, Boucher said.
"Our region's firefighters, rescue squad members and law enforcement officers are our first line of defense in times of emergency," the congressman said in the news release.