Over $500k in grant funding goes to local fire districts
Fighting fires is a dangerous endeavor requiring a plethora of expensive safety equipment but the cost burden of supplying local firefighters with the necessary tools just got a bit lighter after three local fire districts were awarded nearly $600,000 from FEMA.
In late July Grand Fire, Grand Lake Fire, and Hot Sulphur Spring/Parshall Fire received $583,429 from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to go directly towards the purchase of new Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses, more commonly referred to as SCBAs, and one SCBA compressor used to fill air tanks. All told the funds will purchase 89 new SCBAs, one new SCBA air compressor, eight Rapid Intervention Team packs, and provide funding for maintenance for roughly the next five years.
The 89 SCBAs will be broken down between the three fire districts with Grand Fire, the largest department in terms of personnel, receiving 44 of the SCBAs. Grand Lake Fire will receive 25 new SCBAs will Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall Fire will receive 20 new SCBAs and the new air compressor. The Rapid Intervention Team Packs, often used by firefighters to rescue other firefighters trapped in burning buildings, are broken down with Grand Fire receiving four and the other two districts each receiving two of the packs.
Officials from the three districts expect to spend the next few weeks reviewing various models and hope to order the new packs around the beginning of October with delivery of the new SCBAs coming roughly six-months after placing the order. The three districts will work cooperatively when selecting the new SCBAs with a focus on interoperability wherein each district ‘s equipment will be interchangeable with the other districts. Each district will have final say though on the particular SCBAs purchased and related accessories.
Average costs for an SCBA can vary depending upon accessories but officials estimated an average cost of about $6,500 per unit, which includes the pack, main air bottle, and backup air bottle. Air compressor costs for SCBAs can vary widely but officials estimated Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall Fire’s new compressor will be in the $40,000 range.
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