HUNTSVILLE, Ala – States have to distribute their remaining CARES ACT money by the end of December. Monday, Alabama is opening up applications for the Revive Grant that small businesses, non-profits and religious organizations can apply for. Emergency response groups are also hoping to be eligible for the $20,000 grant.
News 19 has profiled various volunteer fire departments since the pandemic started. At one point, Moores Mill Fire & Rescue considered halting mutual aid calls due to a lack of PPE. The department opted to continue mutual aid despite a lack of PPE. Thankfully, a community donor stepped in with a large supply of PPE during the first peak of the pandemic.
Recently, Moores Mill got a $15,000 grant from the state. Zachary Trulson, the President of Moores Mill Fire & Rescue says that money is going to restocking medical supplies along with PPE. One of the more costly expenses they are doubling up on are airway/breathing devices due to increased COVID-19 calls.
“With this grant we are able to outfit all of our responder vehicles with I-gels,” said Trulson. I-Gels helo with patients under respiratory distress.
“We can easily get any sort of medical equipment that we need to be able to run those calls,” said Trulson after he got the $15,000 grant.
Generally, volunteer fire departments use most of their budgets on firefighting equipment. However, more than 70 percent of the emergency calls Moores Mills gets are medical calls. These calls are up across the board for all Madison County volunteer fire departments. Data shows spikes in calls corresponding with spikes in COVID-19 cases.
“We are usually the first ones on scene for medical calls out in the county just because a lot of the times we are closer,” said Trulson.
Moores Mill says after talking with Rep. Rex Reynolds, they were encouraged to apply for the recently announced Revive grant pool. Trulson says this grant could potentially be more competitive compared to the previous grant. However, Alabama does have a significant amount of CARES ACT money to still hand out.
“Luckily, we have gotten support from our representative, Representative Reynolds. He’s helped us get all the help we need to this point,” said Trulson.
So far, Moores Mill has been able to keep their firefighters safe from the virus. They’ve had a scare or two, but nothing has kept them from responding to emergency calls. However, Trulson says one positive COVID-19 test could seriously derail their ability to cover their region.