Grant to help improve fire department

Catons Chapel - Richardson Cove Volunteer Fire Department (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Catons Chapel Richardson Cove Volunteer Fire Department has been given $50,000 in a grant to help with new equipment and fuel costs.

The department plans to have smoke detectors with two staff members on hand to put them in homes where people need them. They hope the two staff members can also help out in the event of an emergency.

"We're hoping to put two people in the community every day to install the smoke detectors. Well in turn if there's a call we're hoping to be able to use them for that as well," said Capt. Charles Powers.

The department has about 20 volunteers and covers an area about the size the City of Knoxville Fire Department covers.

Powers said the department plans to use money for new equipment such as a computer and iPad to help map out homes and people living in them who may need extra help during an emergency.

"We can get photographs of houses or businesses and have that in the fire truck as we're responding to know the specifics of those residences," said Powers. "If an elderly person lives there we can have that information before we get there."

Powers hopes the grant will help the department and the community be safer. He said after the big wild-land fires the past two years any faster response will help.

"If we can you know put a stop on that quicker we don't know how much money we could save," said Powers. "We've made a lot of progress the past couple of years and we hope to continue to move it forward."

The big fires the past 2 years have caused nearly $30 million in property damage.

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