Commission considers how to thank first responders

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Firefighters, EMTs and law enforcement officers get a big thank you from their local governments, leading others to wonder if it could happen for them.

“We haven’t actually talked about hazard pay per se, but we have discussed, even prior to Kanawha County did, of how the county and the people in the county can show appreciation to the people that have been out on the forefront,” said Fayette County Commission President Denise Scalph.

Unfortunately, counties with a tighter budget have a hard time finding out where the money would come from.

“There’s been discussion on the state and federal level about funding that may be available,” said Scalph. “But of course, that has to be approved federally and through the state before it’s actually disseminated to the counties.”

That doesn’t mean first responders won’t get some form of a thank you, even if it isn’t in the form of a bonus check.

“I’ve talked to some other states and what they did was they compensated their first responders by purchasing their lunches every day for up to $15, and that is also helping the restaurants.”

It’s unclear if the commission will bring up the matter during it’s meeting on Friday.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at