At a recent New Franklin City Council meeting, Assistant Fire Chief Tim Young reported that the fire department recently received a $140,000 grant from FEMA to be used to replace 24 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) tanks for the fire department. The grant will cover the cost of replacing all 24 at once, instead of several at a time which was the initial plan. The bottles are required to be replaced every 10 years.
Since 2002, the New Franklin Fire and EMS Department has received $1,328,914 in FEMA grants which have paid for needs from a tanker/pumper to an upgraded 450 radio system, smoke detectors for residents to rescue equipment for the ambulance team.
Each grant applicant has to stay within the scope of the project and FEMA determines the need based on the size of the department, the age of the equipment, and past improvements that have been made.
The fire department has a budget of $2.1 million and the funds cover the salaries of 14 full-time and 20 part-time fire fighters and equipment. The fire and EMS department is responsible for covering the needs of 16,000 residents, including the Village of Clinton.
A grant in 2005 for $2,500 to buy radios for their 800 system, which allows them to be in sync with other departments in Summit and Stark county. A $213,480 grant in 2012 allowed for an upgrade of the 450 radio system which allows them to get better reception in the southern part of the county. Another grant allowed them to retrofit a utility truck into a rescue vehicle that can respond to car accidents and have the equipment to house cutters and air bags.
In 2008, a FEMA grant allowed the department to purchase a tanker/pumper for $275,000, and with a trade in of the older tanker/pumper, they were able to save more than $125,000. A new tanker/pumper would have cost $350,000. Various other grants have covered a vehicle exhaust, water suits for the scuba rescue team and a trailer to allow them to bring extra equipment to the scene.
For more information, view www.thesuburbanite.com