Culpeper Times: Biden signs law to provide over $1.3 million for ambulance, behavioral health in Culpeper

CULPEPER TIMES, IAN CHINI

President Joe Biden yesterday signed into law U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s legislation that will provide $1,324,494 for a new Little Fork Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company ambulance as well as renovations and additions to the Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services (RRCS) Behavioral Health Clinic.

The funding — which Spanberger successfully secured as part of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate-passed fiscal year 2023 end-of-year government funding package — will provide the Little Fork Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company with $324,494 to replace an ambulance that has reached the end of its effective life.

“As President of the Culpeper County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, the award of the Community Project Funding grant is fantastic news for our local first responders,” said Charles Perryman, President, Culpeper County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association. “With the growth and rise of EMS calls for service in our county, this new ambulance will replace an aging ambulance that is beyond end of life. We are thankful to the county in assisting with the grant efforts. Finally, we want to recognize and share a big thanks to Representative Spanberger for recognizing the needs, championing our cause, and making this grant a reality!”

Little Fork Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company is one of the few volunteer fire and rescue companies in Virginia requiring members to obtain fire and/or EMS certification, as well as the only volunteer company specializing in large animal rescue, preventing the loss of livestock in the Culpeper community and across the Commonwealth.

This investment will ensure that the Little Fork Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company can continue providing emergency medical services to the Culpeper community.

“The Culpeper County Board of Supervisors is grateful for the support of our volunteer fire and rescue providers through the Community Project Funding process. The Board recognizes that significant growth is anticipated in the areas of Culpeper County that the Little Fork Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company serves,” said Gary Deal, Chairman, Culpeper Board of Supervisors. “Chief Doug Monaco and the volunteer members of the Little Fork Fire and Rescue Company proudly protect the quality of life, social, economic and environmental infrastructure in Culpeper County and the addition of a new ambulance will help to facilitate those goals. It is my opinion that the dedication of our volunteers and the association is a major component in what makes Culpeper, Culpeper.”

Additionally, Spanberger secured $1 million for Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services to expand its Behavioral Health Clinic.

This investment will include renovations and additions of approximately 3,000 square feet, as well as the addition of an elevator to increase accessibility.

Culpeper County and surrounding areas are currently experiencing suicide rates 30 percent higher than the Virginia average, as well as overdose rates that continue to rise above the state average. While the need for behavioral health and substance use services has increased, RRCS has outgrown the current physical space and is unable to provide additional services.

“Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services (RRCS) is very appreciative of the support of Congresswoman Spanberger and her team in helping secure funding to meet the behavioral health needs of individuals living in Culpeper and surrounding counties,” said Jim LaGraffe, Executive Director, Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services. “We are grateful for her continued advocacy and dedication in ensuring the people RRCS supports have access to the resources they need.”

“Every community deserves the resources it needs to care for the people who call it home. That’s why I have worked directly with leaders in Culpeper County to successfully secure funding for a new ambulance for the Little Fork Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, as well as much-needed upgrades for Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services to meet the behavioral health needs of the community,” Spanberger said. “As the region continues to grow, I am proud to deliver these federal investments to assist these volunteer professionals and community health leaders in caring for the Virginians who rely on their services. I am grateful for the assistance of local officials in identifying these needs, and commend the commitment to community safety displayed by both the Little Fork Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company and Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services.”

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