Seven Watauga Fire Departments receive state grants

Last Updated on September 10, 2020 11:08 am

North Carolina State Fire Marshal/Department of Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey recently met with some local firefighters to distribute grant checks.

The visit, which included the presentation of ceremonial checks, to Zionville Volunteer Fire Department, Meat Camp Volunteer Fire Department and Deep Gap Volunteer Fire Department occurred on Thursday, Sept. 3. Congresswoman Virginia Fox joined Commissioner Causey at Deep Gap VFD.

In total seven Watauga County fire departments received matching grants totaling $171,426 from the state. Beaver Dam, Seven Devils, Shawneehaw, and Beech Mountain also received the matching grants.

Commissioner Causey is concerned about the financial well-being of the state’s volunteer fire departments and has partnered with BCBSNC, the state’s largest health insurance company, to obtain grants to help ensure the departments can respond to their jurisdiction’s needs, according to a press release from the Commissioner's office.

The money comes from a $500,000 BCBSNC grant to assist rural fire departments in North Carolina. The grants are going to volunteer fire departments that receive the least amount of funding from their local governments.

Most rural volunteer fire departments depend on fundraising events to supplement their government funding. The restrictions on public gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic have limited their ability to raise these funds, according to the Commissioner's office.

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