The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a $241,410 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Operations and Safety Grant, U.S. Representative Bart Gordon announced.
"Many communities struggle to maintain EMS and firefighting services," said Gordon, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. "Even though demands of EMS providers and firefighters have increased tremendously over the years, the resources they depend on to provide their life-saving services have not.
That's why Congress initiated the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which is similar to the highly successful COPS program that put more than 100,000 new police officers on the nation's streets."
Chief Donny Green said the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department will use this federal funding award to purchase 44 new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA's), or commonly referred to as "air packs", which will allow for four SCBA?s at each of the 11 stations across the county. These SCBA's cost a little more than $5,000 each.
Green added "Our county budget simply could not afford us to buy this essential safety equipment. The SCBA's currently used by the department's 77 volunteer firefighters are not NFPA compliant and do not offer the most up-to-date safety features that our volunteers deserve. The delivery of these SCBA's will allow our department to be in compliance and provide a higher degree of safety for our 77 volunteer firefighters."