Gov. Justice signs bills allocating $12 million to fire departments and first responders

POINT PLEASANT, WV —  Gov. Jim Justice held a ceremony today at the Point Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department, where he signed SB 1021SB 1022, and SB 1023, which passed in the recent Special Session of the West Virginia Legislature, providing $12 million in supplemental funding to fire departments and first responders across the state.

“You are the people who literally run to the fire,” Gov. Justice said. “I cannot thank you enough for the work you do and the lives you touched. There is no way that we make it without our first responders, and my goal is to supply you with everything you need to continue protecting our communities. Today is a monumental day because of what has been accomplished. Again, I cannot thank you enough for everything you do for our state.”
“This is a big day for first responders in the state of West Virginia,” Rob Cunningham, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said. “The cooperation between the West Virginia Legislature and the Governor to come up with this one-time appropriation to help fund our fire departments and emergency medical services is really huge.”

Gov. Justice signed SB 1021, which created a special revenue fund to be administered by the Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who will distribute additional funds to local county commissions in counties with excess levies or dedicated fees related to emergency services. 

Gov. Justice also signed SB 1022 and SB 1023, which supplemented appropriations to the Division of Emergency Management, Growth County Fire Protection Fund, and County Fire Protection Fund.
These additional funds can be used for Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) based on the needs of the individual counties that receive them. These funds may be used to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), facilities upkeep, and upgrade or buy new rescue, communications or ambulance equipment.

Additionally, funds can be used toward education and training expenses or to offset costs associated with compliance with Insurance Service Office recommendations (ISO), utility bills, and insurance payments.