ROCKINGHAM — Three local rescue squads were awarded $5,000 grants Thursday by N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey.
The commissioner presented the giant — and real — checks to Chief Scott Waters of Richmond County Rescue and Chief Bryan Cloninger of Ellerbe Rescue. Richmond County Emergency Services Director Bob Smith accepted a check on behalf of Hamlet Rescue.
Causey said the funding comes from a $250,000 donation from Lloyds of London, and is going toward the state’s 50 least-funded volunteer rescue squads and fire departments.
Brian Taylor, chief state fire marshal and assistant commissioner, said the legislature provided a $10,000 COVID-relief grant for volunteer fire departments. However, Taylor said the commissioner’s office received calls that rescue squads weren’t included.
“So it was his wishes to try to provide some assistance because of the amount of calls of need (that came in),” Taylor said. “This will kind of help bridge that gap.”
Causey told the recipients that the guidelines were similar to matching grant funds and that they could use the money “for almost anything.”
Earlier in the morning, Causey announced that the Rockingham Fire Department’s ISO rating had increased from 3 to 2.
After leaving Richmond County, Causey was scheduled to appear at an Operation Medicine Drop event in Stanly County and distribute similar Surplus Lines checks to that county’s rescue unit, as well as several squads in Montgomery County.
From left: Brian Taylor, chief state fire marshal; Scott Waters, chief of Richmond County Rescue; Mike Causey, insurance commissioner and state fire marshal.
From left: Brian Taylor, chief state fire marshal; Bob Smith, Richmond County emergency services director; Mike Causey, insurance commissioner and state fire marshal.