Bamberg, South Carolina (July 2018) – On June 27, 2018, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that Bamberg County received three awards to purchase three new fully equipped fire pumper tankers. Nationwide, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $237 million in 119 rural communities in 29 states. The USDA Rural Development funded six projects in South Carolina, including these Bamberg County awards.
The funding will purchase three fire pumper tankers to replace the aging and unreliable equipment currently used by Bamberg County firefighters. Bamberg County was awarded a total of $840,000 from USDA Rural Development. The first loan and grant award package totals $280,000 and includes a $230,000 loan and a $50,000 grant. The second award package is for $280,000 and includes a $230,200 loan and a $49,800 grant. The last award package totals $280,000 and includes a $230,100 loan and a $49,900 grant.
“Bamberg County is proud to be awarded this funding from USDA Rural Development,” said Joey Preston, Bamberg County Administrator. “The county fire service has an aging vehicle fleet and it is imperative that the equipment be replaced to ensure the safety of our citizens and firefighters. The USDA Rural Development grant and loan program allows Bamberg County to purchase new, reliable equipment at an affordable rate.”
Paul Eubanks, Bamberg County Fire Coordinator said, “This purchase will put us in a much better position to provide basic fire protection and emergency response to the citizens of Bamberg County. We have trucks in service now that are over 30 years old and are a maintenance problem. The safety of our firefighters must be a high priority and they need reliable equipment to ensure they can safely serve Bamberg County residents.”
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to assist rural communities. “At USDA, we believe in rural America and in the promise of small towns and the people who call them home,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, we are committed to being a strong partner to local leaders in building healthy, prosperous futures for their communities.”
For more information about USDA Rural Development, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
“Bamberg County is committed to protecting and serving our residents. The county’s fire service is mostly supported by volunteers who donate their time to help others. These selfless individuals need adequate equipment to do their job of protecting life and property from fire damage,” said Clint Carter, Bamberg County Council Chairman. “County Council is pleased that county staff applied for and were awarded this funding to replace the aging and unreliable vehicles currently used by Bamberg County firefighters.”