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WASHINGTON (KTHV) –U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman, along with U.S. Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-2), announced on Wednesday that the City of Vilonia will receive a $37,073 grant from the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program to purchase 18 sets of turnout gear for its local firefighters. Vilonia was hit by devastating tornadoes in 2011 and again last week.

"Vilonia has faced more than its fair share of disasters over the past few years. Yet, despite everything, the community is stronger than ever," said Pryor. "These resources will help Vilonia continue to support its families and first responders as the city recovers and rebuilds."

"Despite the devastation Vilonia residents have been through in recent years, there is hope that the community will recover," Boozman said. "These funds should signal optimism and our continued commitment to provide the resources necessary to rebuild and protect the community."

"Protecting those who protect our communities is critical, and this new structural equipment will help ensure that the firefighters in Vilonia are better prepared to respond when life is threatened," said Griffin.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel. During Fiscal Year 2013, DHS AFG Program will award approximately $288.8 million directly to local fire departments and EMS organizations to enhance their response capabilities to fire and all other hazards.

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