MORANTOWN — Two fire departments were awarded a combined $181,606 in grants to improve their equipment.

U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced last week that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded $411,855 in fire safety in five West Virginia counties, including two departments in Monongalia County.

The grant money, which will be awarded through FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, will send $22,455 to the Morgantown Fire Department (MFD), and $159,151 to the Star City Volunteer Fire Department (SCVFD).

MFD plans on using the money to purchase four new thermal imaging cameras, or TICs. According to MFD Fire Chief Mark Caravasos, the cameras use infrared technology to better read heat levels, turning things that are hot into visible pictures.

Star City, on the other hand, will use their grant money to upgrade their collection of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment. SCBAs are the pieces of equipment that help firefighters and other rescue workers breathe in air that is a hazard to human health, such as in the middle of a fire.