PI Fire nets grant for gear

8 years ago

By Paula Brewer
Staff Writer

PRESQUE ISLE — The Presque Isle Fire Department will receive more than $24,000 in federal grant money from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program.

U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced June 15 that the local department and two others will receive a combined $93,331 in grant funding from the AFG, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Association.

Presque Isle will receive $24,572 for firefighter gear, while the Hampden Fire Department will get $16,378 for a turnout gear washer and dryer, and Holden Fire and Rescue will receive $52,381 for an air refill system and compressor.

Presque Isle Fire Chief Darrell White said Friday the local department will use the funds to replace 10 sets of firefighter turnout gear.

“This is a federal grant through FEMA, and departments can apply for funds for fire trucks, clothing, apparatus or just about anything to do their jobs,” White said. “Of course, we’ve been obviously applying to get a truck to replace one of ours, but that’s hard to get.”

A set of turnout gear includes the helmet, hood, pants, coat, boots — the complete ensemble, said the chief. The grant will reduce the city’s cost to about $1,200 for the gear replacement.

“It’s a very good program,” White said, “but it’s very competitive. It’s all across the country.”

“The brave men and women from fire departments across Maine work hard every day to protect and safeguard their communities, and it’s important that they have the tools and resources necessary to support them in that work,” said the senators in a joint statement.

The AFG program assists fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations with purchasing equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources to better protect the public and emergency personnel.