East Tennessee volunteer fire departments receive grant money after battling wildfires

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Two dozen East Tennessee volunteer fire departments were given grant money Tuesday to help them recover after the massive wildfires that ripped through East Tennessee late last year.

The East Tennessee Foundation distributed the checks through their Neighbor-to-Neighbor Disaster Relief Fund, established to allow citizens to give to groups who risked it all to keep communities safe.

One of the departments benefiting from the money is the Pittman Center Volunteer Fire Department. They plan to use the money for a new communications system to replace the one that was lost in the Cobbly Nob community.

Related story: Sevier County fire department loses equipment during wildfires

“We lost our tower, the antennas and the repeater all at once. This money is going to help us replace that and hopefully we get to go a little bit bigger and get more coverage out of the system that we’re trying to build,” said Chief Rosemary Nichols.

Some of the other departments receiving help include the Sevier County Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, along with volunteer fire departments in Townsend, Del Rio, Kodak and Seymour. Nearly $100,000 in grant money was distributed.

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