5:50pm October 4, 2006
The Valdosta Fire Department is gearing up to receive $1.1 million to help prevent terrorism and respond to disasters.
CAPT Ken Gallagher, Captain of Special Operations, said, "It makes me personally feel good. It's going to allow us to do more than we already do for Valdosta, southwest Georgia and the entire state."
The grant will allow VFP to purchase a new structural collapse vehicle, equipment and training for a 70-plus member rescue team.
"Although the new emergency response vehicle will be a permanent part of the Valdosta Fire Department, the new emergency response personnel will be made up of firefighters from across the southwest region."
Jon Yeargin, a firefighter, added, "Any time we get to work with anyone else that has a better knowledge, or vice versa, if we can give knowledge from them, always, always great."
These local firefighters are rising to new heights and are ready to take on new challenges.
Chief J.D. Rice of the Valdosta Fire Department said, "Not only will we be able to respond to acts of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, but any type of structure collapse from, say, a tornado."
Local firemen believe Valdosta is strategically located, giving them the ability to more quickly respond to emergencies anywhere in the southwest Georgia region.
Chief Rice said the selection process for the grant money was very competitive and he believes it was the personnel that gave Valdosta's fire department the edge.