UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Unicoi County Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) has been awarded federal dollars to recruit and retain firefighters. The Unicoi VFD said the funding will help revamp the department and improve service to the community.

The Department said on Facebook that it received a Federal Department of Homeland Security Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant worth $248,850. The money will be used over a 4-year period.

The Unicoi VFD says it will use the funding to help attract new firefighters, for training and to get uniforms and gear for new recruits. Health physicals and immunizations will also be paid for with the funding. A renovation project is also in the works for the fire department’s living quarters, so crews can pull overnight duties more comfortably.