TOP PHOTO: Grant dollars came to the CCRFS on Friday.

CRFS Firefighter, Sarah Daugherty, who is a legacy firefighter, the daughter of Don McGuire an integral part of the CCRFS. Daugherty is showing a replica of the new helmets the CCRFS will soon be receiving thanks to grant dollars.

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The volume of calls the Campbell County Rural Fire Service receives in a year exceeds 400 which comes out to an average of more than one call a day for the all volunteer unit. Volunteers and grant dollars are the lifeblood of the organization which makes Friday’s grant check presentation all the more meaningful.

Friday morning at the La Follette Station, Station One of the CCRFS, representatives from the State of Tennessee were on hand to present a grant of nearly eight-thousand dollars to the fire service. “All of these dollars will go toward purchasing 22 new helmets for our firefighters,” said Daniel Lawson, CCRFS Captain.

CCRFS Captain Daniel Lawson explains that all of this equipment came by way of grant dollars.

The CCRFS was one of 62 agencies across Tennessee to receive grant dollars out of the 200 applicants. “That’s one-million dollars spread across those 62 departments. We were conservative and logical with this request, and I think that helped us get it,” said Lawson.

In addition to La Follette, there are four other CCRFS stations that serve the south side of Campbell County. Station Number 2 is at Valley View. Grantsboro is where Station 3 is while Number 4 is a Victory. “The old Pinecrest School is where we house Station 5,” added the captain.

Left to right are Gary Farley, John Vanover, Sarah Daugherty, Daniel Lawson, Brad Young and Dennis Powers.

Lawson emphasizes that without grants, we could not do what we do. “All rescue equipment comes off grants; our trucks and even our four by four,” Lawson noted.

Gary Farley, the Assistant Commissioner, Fire Prevention, and Jim Tracy, Senior Advisor to the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance, were not only on hand to make the check presentation on Friday, they were also there to commend the CCFRS for all it does for Campbell County. “Out of 19,510 firefighters in Tennessee, 11,229 are volunteers. That’s 75%,” said Farley. He went on to say that firefighters touch all 6.9 million Tennesseans.

Left to right are Deputy Mayor John Vanover, CCRFS Firefighter Sarah Daugherty, State Assistant Commission-Fire Prevention Gary Farley, CCRFS Captain Daniel Lawson, CCRFS Assistant Chief Brad Young, State Representative Dennis Powers and Jim Tracy, Senior Advisor to the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance.

“Volunteer Fire Departments are so important to our quality of life and their affects on insurance. We could not operate without volunteer fire services across Tennessee,” said Tracy. He added that Governor Lee and this General Assembly have done more for fire service during their tenure over the course of his 40-year career. In the new state budget, the dollar amount for education, training, equipment and grants will go from one million dollars to five million according to Tracy.

“We’re starting our fund drive here pretty soon to help with our operating costs, and we hope the community will come through for us like it always has,” said Lawson. If you’d like to donate, make your check payable to the CCRFS and mail to P.O. Box 341, La Follette 37766. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/28/2022-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON)