U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham recently announced more than $2.9 million in grants to various state fire departments from the Department of Homeland Security.

"Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians," said Graham.

Grants were awarded in the following program areas:

--Operations and Safety Program: The funds may be used for training, wellness and fitness programs; the purchase of firefighting and personal-protective equipment; and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

--Fire Prevention Program: The funds may be used for public education and awareness, fire code enforcement, fire inspector certification, the purchase and installation of smoke alarms and fire-suppression systems, wildland fire mitigation, and arson prevention and detection.

--Vehicle Acquisition Program: The funds may be used to purchase of firefighting vehicles including pumpers, brush trucks, tankers, rescue vehicles, ambulances, quints, aerials, foam units and fireboats.

Local departments awarded grants include:

--Charleston: The Charleston Fire Department will receive a $233,757 Operations and Safety grant.

--Hollywood: The St. Paul's Fire District will receive a $51,728 Fire Prevention grant and $65,058 Operations and Safety grant.

--Moncks Corner: The Moncks Corner Rural Fire Department will receive a $69,825 Vehicle Acquisition grant; the Santee Circle Rural Fire Department will receive a $128,317 Operations and Safety grant.

The Assistance to Firefighters grantees share in the cost of the funded project at a percentage based on the population of their respective jurisdiction. Grantees that serve jurisdictions of 50,000 or fewer residents are required to provide a nonfederal cost-share of 10 percent while grantees that serve jurisdictions of more than 50,000 provide a 30 percent cost-share. The match must be in cash, not in-kind contributions. Also, the maximum amount of federal funds that an applicant can be awarded is $750,000 during any fiscal year.