The emergency responders in Craig County know that without proper vehicles, they cannot respond to their citizens emergency needs with security in heart that they will make it there without a breakdown.
Still, Craig County has always come through for their people, even if they have to use their own vehicles, which many have.
Emergency Services Director Jim Cady shared that they had applied for a new emergency management vehicle and a police car, which were greatly needed.
Recently, they were also notified they would be receiving a grant from the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development. They were awarded $49,500 to Craig County for emergency service vehicles.
The funds will be used to purchase a new sheriff’s vehicle and an EMS vehicle.
“We are very appreciative of the grant,” Cady said. “When we have emergencies or other needs and enter peoples’ driveways or roads to determine the situation, some people have legitimate concerns about who and why we’re there when we use our private cars. The car with county identification lets them realize who we are, and we get greeted more friendly.”
He noted that their “old” car was given to them by Bobby Simmons from Botetourt County. “We wore it out,” Cady added.
“The County Administrator received the grant, and we purchased a 2020 Ford SUV for patrol,” Sheriff Craddock added. “We have already taken possession of the vehicle. It is sitting on the line at my office. It is nice to have newer vehicles, it really cuts down on maintenance costs. The Ford SUV’s have more room, are all-wheel drive, and just make a better choice for the terrain we have in the county.”
Craig’s County Administrator Dan Collins said that they submit a USDA grant application every year which identifies their needs and specific costs.
“We have been fortunate to receive approval every year,” he shared. “Some of the past awards were for vehicles in the Sheriff’s Department, similar vehicles for EMS, a school bus for the schools ($80,000) and tasers for our Sheriff’s Department ($16,630).”
Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Va) issued the following statement: “Providing sufficient emergency services can be a challenge to rural jurisdictions such as those of the ninth congressional district. Today’s award of $49,500 by USDA rural development for a sheriff’s vehicle and EMS vehicle will help the citizens of Craig County receive the public safety services they need.”
Both departments were greatly appreciative to adding new and reliable vehicles for their employees to serve Craig’s residents.