A $101,015 U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant will enable the DeKalb County Fire Department to purchase personal protection equipment, U.S. Representative Bart Gordon announced today (Friday).
The grant is funded 95% federal, $95,965, and 5% local, $5,050.
\"Many communites struggle to maintain fire-protection services,\" said Gordon, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. \"Even though demands on 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 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 funds would be used to purchase personal protection equipment such as fire fighting protection clothing and spare air cylinders for breathing apparatuses, and laundry equipment to clean the clothing of blood-borne pathogens, keeping them maintained and allowing them to last longer.
\"This is equipment we would not have been able to purchase without federal assistance,\" Green said. We're able to protect not only the community, but our firefighters, as well.\"
Homeland Security awarded the grant through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, created by Congress to help underfunded fire departments better serve community residents. In addition to funding operations and firefighter safety programs, the grants can also be used to purchase firefighting vehicles.
\"Countless lives and properties have been saved through the valiant efforts of firefighters and rescue squad members, \"Gordon said. \"This program is a much-needed opportunity for local fire departments to strengthen their resources and capabilities.\"