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USDA funds benefit local rescue squad

CONWAY – The Conway-Severn Volunteer Rescue Squad will have a new vehicle to service their citizens.

Wednesday night, USDA Rural Development Area Director, Garland Burnette presented the emergency service provider with a ceremonial check for $57,000.

On hand for the presentation were Northampton County Manager Wayne Jenkins, Northampton County commissioner James Hester, USDA representatives Leyta G. Hollis, Susan Christensen and Conway-Severn Volunteer Rescue Squad Treasurer Carol Ferguson.

The Federal agency provided a $32,000 low interest loan and a $25,000 grant for the purchase of a 2005 Ford Type III ambulance.

The rescue service also contributed an additional $35,000 of their own funds towards the purchase.

Hester a Conway resident praised the rescue service as well as the USDA.

&uot;We really appreciate the efforts of the Rural Development department and all of its members,&uot; Hester said

Jenkins also wanted to thank the federal agency for their help in community growth.

&uot;The USDA has been instrumental in the growth of our community’s infrastructure and special needs for over 25 years now,&uot; Jenkins added. &uot;&uot;I really want to commend their staff for their continuous hard work.&uot;

Conway-Severn Rescue has been in service since 1977 providing rescue and EMS service to 3,500 residents in rural Northampton County.

The rescue service routinely has to drive a minimum of 30 minutes to the nearest hospital and a new modern vehicle was critical for continued assistance to the community.

Ferguson said the work of the USDA representatives was instrumental in helping the rescue service secure the necessary funding.

&uot;I really want to thank Susan Christensen for all of her help in getting our grant proposal together,&uot; Ferguson said &uot;We could not have done it without her.&uot;

The USDA’s Rural Development department provides resources in the form of securing low interest loans and grants to rural communities to assist them in purchasing important facilities such as emergency vehicles, fire and rescue stations, medical units and daycare centers.