WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs has awarded the U.S. Virgin Islands government an additional $237,796 in fiscal year 2020 Technical Assistance Program grant funding. The funding will be used to buy two new fire rescue trucks and is provided in addition to approximately $3.9 million in funding announced earlier this year for the territory.
“Emergency responders and firefighters in St. Croix and in St. Thomas will now be better equipped to provide emergency response and fire rescue services in the territory,” said Douglas W. Domenech, Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs.
The new fire rescue trucks is for the VI Fire Service, a career fire department that provides wildland and structural fire suppression, rescue services, vehicle extrication, basic medical first response, and hazmat response for the entire territory. The VI Fire Service has 242 active firefighters who provide emergency services to over 106,000 year-round residents and roughly 15,000 additional seasonal vacationers each year. The current vehicles in the fleet are not equipped to carry the necessary tools for emergency services. The two new fire trucks, one for St. Croix and the other for St. Thomas, will help the first responders be more effective in their response to emergencies.
These funds are provided in addition to the $3 million in Technical Assistance Program fiscal year 2020 funds and the nearly $900,000 in Maintenance Assistance Program fiscal year 2020 funding, both announced for the U.S. Virgin Islands earlier this year. (PR)