Eighty-seven percent of the state is protected by volunteer fire departments, according to the state Fire Marshal's Office.
The grant money will allow the firefighters to be paid about $12.60 an hour. If the department hires a veteran, like Summers, the grant will automatically pay for his third year. Also, Gwinn said, the department plans to reapply for the grant.
"It's something any station can apply for," he said. "We got asked that in a [county fire] board meeting: 'Well, how did you all get this?'"
While working 12-hour shifts, firefighters have been upgrading the station by remodeling the kitchen and bathroom. Beds, a pool table and a TV were donated from local businesses and community members.
"It's like our second home," Summers, 26, said. "We want it to be as nice as possible."
Puterbaugh, 19, who has volunteered at the station for about a year, has only weeks left before he becomes a certified emergency management technician -- a skill, Gwinn said, they hope more of their new firefighters have.
Last Wednesday, Puterbaugh was halfway through a 48-hour shift. "He volunteered for that," Summers quickly said with a laugh.
"It's a whole different experience, people always being here," Puterbaugh said. "Before, someone had to come from home and change when they got here.
"It's pretty neat. I never thought it would be like this."
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.