PHILADELPHIA – Some 300 fire departments in five mid-Atlantic states have received more than $51 million in competitive grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) awards help fire departments protect their communities by funding replacements of aging equipment; vehicle purchases; personnel training; radios, protective gear, tools and life-saving equipment; and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fires and fire-related hazards.
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“Firefighters play a crucial role in keeping America’s communities safe and resilient,” said FEMA Region 3 Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “We take pride in helping fire departments stay ready to save lives and property, and we urge fire departments to apply for funding in the next cycle.”
Awards went to fire departments in areas from small towns to big cities. A few include:
- East Bank, a small town in West Virginia, which received more than $150,000 to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). SCBA allows crews to breathe safely as they fight fires.
- Chesterfield County, Va., just south of Richmond, which received $1.9 million for a source capture exhaust system and its installation. These systems capture and contain vehicle exhaust emissions and airborne particles, reducing health risks to firefighters.
- The City of Pittsburgh, which received $1.7 million for self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
- And Sharpsburg, Md., a small town near the Antietam National Battlefield, that received $1.9 million for mobile radios.
Opportunities to apply for the next round of AFGs should begin in late 2022 or early 2023; the date has not yet been set.