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Hinesville and Riceboro fire departments share grant
AW HvilleRiceboroGrant1
Hinesville Fire Department Chief Lamar Cook, Riceboro Volunteer Fire Department Chief Earl McGinley Sr., Rep. Al Williams (D-Midway), RFD Lt. Shelia McGinley and Riceboro Mayor Bill Austin hold a $20,000 check from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs the two fire departments will share. - photo by Andrea Washington / Coastal Courier
Members of the Hinesville Fire Department and Riceboro Volunteer Fire Department had 10,000 reasons to smile recently when state Rep. Al Williams (D-Midway) brought home a $20,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for the two fire companies to split.
Each department plans to use their half of the grant to pay for equipment upgrades, but the reach of those needs shows how important funding is for big and little departments alike.
"The city of Hinesville provides a hazmat team to the Area Five All-Hazard Council. That team provides hazmat services to five counties; Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Bryan and Wayne; and this funding that Rep. Williams got us is going to replace some of the equipment that has expired," HFD Chief Lamar Cook said. "It's not just benefiting the residents of Hinesville..."
RVFD Lt. Shelia McGinley said her department would use its $10,000 to make improvements to the fire station as well as buy training and fire-related equipment.
"Our funding is very, very limited. This is how we're able to get things done," she said. "We wouldn't be able to do anything without (grants)."
McGinley said she has been "working on (Williams) for years" to get more funding for her station, including approaching him in a local pharmacy, and is "not done yet" with her requests.
Noting "it took a while to get it done," Williams said he was pleased his yearlong effort with help from state Sens. Eric Johnson and Tommie Williams and state Reps. Ron Stephens and Terry Barnard would make "a big, big difference" for both departments.
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