Benton County (WA) Awarded Grant for New Fire Equipment

Benton County Fire District 4 and Benton County Fire Protection District 2 were awarded a grant for $336,603 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The funding will pay to replace outdated Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (or “SCBAs”) for firefighters in both departments.

SCBAs supply firefighters with air while they are in smoky or otherwise hazardous conditions. This equipment should be replaced every 10 years or sooner depending on the amount of use it receives. One unit can cost over $6,000 to replace. The fire districts plan to purchase 53 SCBAs and 29 face masks with this grant and a 10 percent matching contribution.

The funding is part of FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The primary goal of the AFG is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

This is the second AFG award for Benton County Fire District 4. In 2014, it received a $45,000 grant to purchase thermal imaging cameras, which help firefighters see through smoke and darkness during rescue operations.

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