Firefighter boots and helmet near the stalls for firefighters. (Healey photo)

From a release

BIBLE HILL: Volunteer fire departments, ground search and rescue organizations, and First Nations fire departments will get help to address the impacts of rising operational costs.

N.S. is investing almost $3.5 million to provide one-time grants to more than 340 organizations. Each group will receive $10,000.

“Whether it’s opening a comfort centre or helping vulnerable Nova Scotians access safety during a storm, volunteer fire departments and ground search and rescue crews are quick to respond when emergencies happen,” said Dave Ritcey, MLA for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River, on behalf of Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr.

“We know these groups are great at raising money in their communities, but their efforts can’t keep pace with rising costs and demand for their services. We hope this will help to bridge the gap.”

Grant recipients can determine how they will use the grant to best meet the needs of the organization, its volunteers or the wider community. This could include upgrades to equipment or facilities, support for training, smoke alarm campaigns, fire prevention education or honorariums to assist firefighters with increased costs. 

Groups will receive the funding in March.

“This is great news for Colchester’s 17 volunteer fire brigades and ground search and rescue. Some brigades are very small, and these funds will be most helpful. I have a great deal of respect for the many volunteers involved, the amazing commitment to their communities and the hard work and training they do. I thank all the families and employers who support them and the provincial government for recognizing them in this way.”
     – Christine Blair, Mayor, Municipality of Colchester

“This will help departments with the ongoing and rising costs of firefighting equipment and operational requirements. Departments are hyper aware of the need and necessity of maintaining required safety standards. The additional funding will aid in this process.”
     – Joey Bisson, Chief, Bible Hill Volunteer Fire Brigade

“Throughout the pandemic, the impacts on the volunteer fire departments to raise funds to purchase new equipment and maintain funds to support operational costs, was greatly hampered.

“The financial support announced today is greatly appreciated and will assist the volunteer fire departments across our province by easing the burden of fundraising shortfalls and providing the ability to purchase much needed equipment without delay.”
     – Greg Jones, President, Fire Service Association of Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:
— organizations will not have to apply for the grant
— funds will go directly to the organizations