SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The State Fire Marshal’s Office announced 147 volunteer fire departments in Tennessee will receive grants in 2023 and a department in Sevier County says the grant money is coming just in time.

The money is being distributed through the $5 million Volunteer Firefighter Equipment and Training Grant Program. The program was created by legislation overseen by Gov. Bill Lee.

Walden’s Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Sevierville was selected to receive $42,000 from the program, and the money will be put towards updated safety gear.

Ian Lanier is a firefighter with the Walden’s Creek Department alongside his father, Jon Lanier, who applied for the grant.

“We needed gear so he applied for the grant and we got it. So, we got a lot of new stuff to help us more effectively do our job,” Lanier said.

Lanier also recently graduated from the fire academy with his stepmother, Katherine Mitchell.

“She knocked it out of the ballpark really, one of the best students there. To be older than everybody else and do all that, it’s inspiring to say the least,” Lanier said.

He thinks the grant money will help the firefighters stay safe and therefore better serve the community.

Chief Tim Baker said the grant money is coming just in time for them to replace old gear.

“It’s mandated by the NFPA that every ten years they must be replaced regardless of the amount of use that they have. We’ve got six sets of gear that go out of date this year,” Baker said.

Chief Baker also said the money will be used to replace their air-packs, which are 20 years old.

“If a firefighter gets in trouble, another firefighter can come in and rescue him and you’re able to buddy breathe if you’re out of air, then they can hook their air pack up to yours,” Baker said.

Walden’s Creek relies on donations from the community for the majority of their funding.