Thursday, April 30, 2015

Grant to Help Upgrade Fire Departments from Analog to Digital

Wednesday, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to the Citizens Fire Company #1 of Tamaqua. The funds will be distributed via the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The fire company is serving as the host of a regional application on behalf of various other Schuylkill County fire departments. The funds will allow all departments in the equipment distribution the ability to continue to upgrade their mobile radio systems from analog to digital, ensuring regional interoperability.

The $372,182 grant will enable the purchase of 178 portable radios. The portable radios will be distributed as follows:
  • American Hose Company (20 Portables)
  • Citizens Fire Company (7 Portables)
  • East End Fire Company (7 Portables)
  • South Ward Fire Company (15 Portables)
  • Tuscarora Fire Company (11 Portables)
  • Tamaqua #1 Emergency & Rescue (12 Portables)
  • West Penn Fire Company (20 Portables)
  • Community Fire of New Ringgold (16 Portables)
  • Coaldale Fire Company (23 Portables)
  • Hometown Fire Company (10 Portables)
  • Mary D Fire Company (6 Portables)
  • McAdoo Fire Company (19 Portables)
  • Brockton Fire Company (6 Portables)
  • New England Fire Company (8 Portables)

“Our local first responders provide an invaluable service to their respective communities, helping keep citizens safe from harm,” said Rep. Cartwright, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “This is a competitive grant process, and the allocation of these well-deserved funds will help enhance the safety of our local firefighters while they continue to protect the residents of Schuylkill County from harm.”

The purpose of the AFG is to award competitive grants directly to fire departments to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel. Since 2001, the AFG program has provided approximately $6.1 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training.

During the current funding cycle, the AFG program will award another $304.5 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.