NEW WATERFORD -The New Waterford Volunteer Fire Department received a $62,463 equipment grant, according to U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Thursday.
The federal money was awarded for operations and safety by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program.
"Our first responders put their lives on the line every day across Ohio," Brown said. "These funds ensure that firefighters in New Waterford have the resources they need to perform their jobs safely."
"It's been a while coming, but we're definitely glad to get it," said NWVFD Assistant Fire Chief Brian Henderson said,
The department will purchase 10 MSA airpacks with the money. Henderson explained that the airpacks were part of a grant application about four years ago along with a Cascade air system to fill the airpacks.
The airpacks were denied and the Cascade system was awarded, Henderson said.
The current airpacks are about 20 years old and the new package includes individual face pieces which "we put in for," Henderson said.
The old units which are outside of NFPA standards will be discarded.
Henderson is hoping to get the new airpacks in about two or three months. He said that many other departments also received equipment grants which creates a backlog.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program helps firefighters and other first responders purchase protective equipment, vehicles, and gear, according to FEMA.
This is round 34 of the competitive Fiscal Year 2012 AFG announcements.
Henderson said the department's 2013 grant application included the airpacks but now with the money awarded in fiscal year 2012 he doubted it would be approved.
He said the procedure doesn't allow for changes in requests but the department is looking to the 2014 grant cycle.
"Probably the next thing we might apply for will be a new truck," he said, adding it would replace a 1990 KME engine.
In 2004, the department received grant money to replace a 1968 truck.