FEMA granting the Fruitland Fire Department $38K for radio equipment
FRUITLAND, Md. – Saving lives with the help of more funding.
Across the Mid-Atlantic region, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is giving $51 million dollars in grant funding to local fire departments. The program is called ‘Assistance to Firefighters Grants.’
The funding will help provide critical needs to the community and to give departments the equipment they need to save lives. “The main primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighter Grants is to meet the needs of the fire department and other emergency medical organizations, to help them provide critical needs and also potentially the training and equipment to help save lives,” says Lisa Garcia, the FEMA Region 3 Acting Deputy Regional Administrator.
With this funding, fire departments will be able to purchase a number of things, one being protective gear. “One of the really important pieces of this funding grant is providing that critically important equipment so emergency vehicles can be purchased with this money, protective gear, but also training to bring them up to their potential so that when they do respond to fires and other emergencies they can do so safely,” says Garcia.
Here on Delmarva, Fruitland Volunteer Fire Company is one of the grant recipients. Chief Chris Twilley says with current circumstances this funding will make a difference in their operations. “Make sure that we have communication, currently we have 2 radios in each fire truck with a seating capacity of at least 8 so sometimes when we have4 to 5 members on a call, sometimes we have to split roles and responsibilities. Our firefighters do not have radios to communicate back and forth,” says Chief Chris Twilley, of the Fruitland Volunteer Fire Company.
Chief Twilley says with the state of the economy this 38 thousand dollars will help specifically to purchase radios. “I know it might be small when you say it’s only 5 portable radios with equipment but you’re looking at anywhere between 5 to 6,000 dollars per radio. Purchasing of portable radios for firefighters to use in emergency situations, fires, accidents, and national disasters,” says Chief Twilley.
But that’s not all this funding is set out to do, FEMA says later down the line, fire departments will have more access to different classes. “Ultimate goal of this program long term is to build resilient and stronger organizations and one of the ways we are supporting the applicants is by providing webinars in the future, so these virtual offerings will provide assistance to those that are interested in applying to the program and that will really help them be successful,” says Garcia.
Garcia says this funding will build resilience and stronger organizations in the long run. And no matter the scale of the emergency, Chief Twilley says this grant funding will make a difference in how they handle future emergencies.