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The Williamsburg Fire Department’s long-standing relationship with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation helped secure a $20,000 grant that gives its firefighters better training and new equipment.
The foundation, which relies on the city department for emergency services, learned of a grant opportunity from its insurance company and jumped at the opportunity to nominate the department that has worked to keep its buildings and guests safe for decades.
“We work hand and glove with [the Williamsburg Fire Department] both on fire safety and visitor safety,” said Danny McDaniel, Colonial Williamsburg’s director of security, safety and transportation. “It was an clear nomination for us to make. We made the nomination, [Deputy Chief] Larry Snyder did the paperwork and it all fell into place.”
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National Trust Insurance Services, which specializes in insuring historic properties such as Colonial Williamsburg, partnered with the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company to offer a grant that will total $20,000.
Chief Pat Dent and the Williamsburg Fire Department hosted a ceremony to celebrate the grant Monday at the Lafayette Street firehouse, with McDaniel, City Manager Marvin Collins and representatives from NTIS, Colonial Williamsburg, Wells Fargo Insurance Services and Maury, Donnelly & Parr in attendance.
"Firefighters put themselves in harm's way every day to serve others and deserve to have the best training and equipment available," said Hayward Howard, senior vice president at NTIS. "We are honored to support the City of Williamsburg and its firefighters in such a meaningful way."
With the grant, the department bought a water vacuum to help with flood cleanups in homes, a larger gas-powered positive pressure fan to help move toxic air out of an area, a new generator for the Fire Safety House used in the department’s fire education programs, and chargers for gas monitors and thermal imaging cameras for the fire trucks.
The grant has also helped pay for overtime to allow all three shifts of firefighters to run live fire training at the Newport News burn building and have the appropriate personnel at the firehouse to address the city’s needs. The department plans to offer the training to all firefighters again later this year, using more of the grant money to pay for overtime.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude, first of all, to Colonial Williamsburg, who made us aware of the grant, and to the National Trust Insurance Services and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company to select our department to receive this $20,000 grant,” Dent said at the ceremony Monday. “I can assure you it has impacted our department and will continue to impact our community in the days to come.”