Middle Creek Fire and Rescue receives funding, expands firefighting capabilities

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PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - Middle Creek Fire and Rescue is getting new equipment soon thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Kentucky Department of Forestry.

The department secured the grant this week and will be using the funds to purchase equipment that will allow the department to fight wildfires.

"With this grant, we will be able to advance our firefighting capabilities in the mountains," said fire chief James Billiter.

He said wildfires are currently not something the department has been able to battle because of the equipment required to do so.

"We're in a rural setting," he said. "We don't really have the funding to go out and fight wildfires."

"Before, we always took a stance from way back, spraying water," he said.

He said the department recognized a need for better precautions after the recent wildfires in Tennessee. Since the department has not been equipped or trained to handle these situations, there has always been a wait time when wildfires occur.

The issue of waiting for another department to get on top of things is something Billiter says the community should not have to shoulder.

"This gives us the capabilities to advance our skill in firefighting," he said.

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