U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill announced $12,600 in federal funding has been awarded to the Memphis Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of 12 sets of new gear.

“Ensuring our first responders have the very best equipment is essential—it saves lives and protects the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to keep our communities safe,” McCaskill said. “I’m glad the volunteer firefighters in Memphis will receive the gear they need to safely get the job done.”

 The $12,600 grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program and will go toward the purchase of 12 sets of turn out gear for the local volunteer firefighters.

 A longtime advocate for Missouri’s firefighters and first responders, McCaskill backed legislation to strengthen education benefits for volunteer firefighters in departments across Missouri, bolstering the ability to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters. The plan allows any volunteer firefighter or first responder with student loans to be eligible to have their student debt paid off.

President Trump recently signed into law the McCaskill-backed Fire Grants Reauthorization Act, which provides funding for state and local first responders and law enforcement to train and equip Missouri’s emergency personnel. The program provides funding directly to fire departments, helping increase and maintain the number of trained firefighters in local communities.

McCaskill is also a longtime supporter of grant funding for state and local law enforcement, announcing more than $200,000 toward police vehicles in Missouri last year. She also supports the Justice Department’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which supports state and local governments to use a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime.