A Bristol Township fire company has received a large federal grant to fund a four-year firefighter retention and recruitment program.

The Third District Fire Company recently learned they received the $357,480 grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.

According to the fire company and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s office, the grant will help the company keep up services to its core coverage area and surrounding fire company coverage areas.

Officials from the Third District Fire Company, which has been around since 1955, said they plan to release more information on their plan for the grant as they work through the details.

In Central Bucks County, the Chalfont Fire Company was awarded $198,863.64 through the Fiscal Year 2019 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, the congressman’s office said.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, volunteer fire departments across my community have struggled with fundraising and balancing their budgets. It is important to remember that volunteer fire departments rely on municipal funds and fundraising to maintain their operation and purchase the tools necessary to save lives,” said Fitzpatrick. “Our volunteer departments have been facing immense budgetary and manpower challenges that predated COVID-19. Now, these departments are tasked with the extremely consequential mission of protecting lives and protecting property with one hand tied behind their back. It is imperative that we give the necessary supplies and tools to our volunteer responders to ensure when we call 9-1-1, they can do their job. I am happy to see the volunteer departments in Bristol and Chalfont received these potentially lifesaving funds.”

The Third District Fire Company commended the congressman for supporting their effort to the get the grant.