Four Gaston County fire departments will benefit from hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants announced earlier this month.

The local recipients of Homeland Security Grants are the Gastonia Fire Department, the Bessemer City Fire Department, Ranlo Fire and Rescue and the North Gaston Volunteer Fire Department. Each department will receive at least $19,000 for resources to the department.

The Gastonia department plans to use $87,272 for decontamination washers and dryers. The equipment will clean firefighter gear after fires and hazardous material incidents, according to Chief Phil Welch.

North Gaston will use $251,315 for 40 air packs and an air compressor to refill them. The grant allows the department to completely replace its current supply.

Ranlo was given $231,580 to provide per-call reimbursement stipends to volunteer firefighters and to cover costs for physicals and training classes.

The Bessemer City Fire Department will purchase various equipment with $19,762 in funding.

"These funds will help these departments better serve their communities and I look forward to visiting with each of these departments soon," said Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry, who announced the grants.

The recipients are determined by a group of fire experts with the Department of Homeland Security.