J.C. Lawson

Lafayette County Fire Chief J.C. Lawson discusses with the Board of County Commissioners the grant that will allow the fire department to replace old equipment.

MAYO — Lafayette County firefighters will soon have new equipment to help keep residents safe.

The Lafayette County Fire Department was approved for a federal grant to supply the department with airpacks and five new sets of gear, which will replace the current equipment that is more than 10 years old.

The Lafayette County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved Chairman Anthony Adams signing the grant application at its Monday meeting. The grant is for $48,071, with no required match from the county, $11,971 for bunker gear and the other $36,100 for airpacks, masks and tanks.

Fire Chief J.C. Lawson also told the board at the meeting that volunteer firefighter Josh Mora had recently completed his Fire I certification in Monticello. Mora and Lawson have advocated for training in Lafayette County and Fire Marshal Charlie Franks will be approving house fire certification locally. Lawson said that will help in recruiting more volunteers in the community.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the board voted unanimously to trade in the county’s old backhoe and use those funds towards the purchase of a new backhoe from the Florida Sheriff’s Association bid list.

The new backhoe was listed at $96,584, with a trade in value of $20,000 for the older backhoe. The total cost for the purchase of the new backhoe is $76,584, which is less than the $80,000 that the county had budgeted this year for the purchase of a new backhoe.

Kara M. Compo is a reporter for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press. Her beats include general assignment, government and police. ​

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