COLUMBIA, Ala. (WDHN) — In 2018, Hurricane Michael ripped its way through the Wiregrass. It damaged communities and destroyed buildings. One of those buildings belonged to the Columbia Fire Department. But, today the department received a check to help rebuild.
Fire departments in a small town like Columbia are known to be what keeps the town going and nobody knows that better than State Representative Paul Lee.
“The money came from Governor Ivey, the Mayor gave me a call and said we need help in replacing our fire department, and wanted to know if we could help in any way, and I said absolutely let me make a few phone calls,” Representative Lee said. “Senator Chesteen and I worked on this, and really of my few years in Montgomery this was one of my easiest tasks that I’ve had to help bring money back because it was obvious there was a bad need.”
Senator Chesteen and Representative Paul Lee were able to present a check for $275,000 to the Columbia Mayor and Fire Department.
“There was some money that was available for emergencies, tornadoes, hurricanes, and so we were able to get that probably as quick as we were able to do anything or we’ve been able to do anything and got a response quickly because they knew it was real,” Lee said.
Rep. Lee says he knows how valuable the fire department is for the local communities. Especially with the amount of knowing the Columbia fire crews were working to put out fires just hours leading up to the check presentation.
“This is very important for the local community and really a fire department in a town this size is the heartbeat in a community,” Lee said.
Not all of the Columbia Fire and Rescue Team was available to attend Tuesday’s ceremony due to fires that had begun earlier in the day.