HUBER HEIGHTS — The Huber Heights Fire Division has been awarded a federal grant of $216,846 to purchase new self-contained breathing apparatus. The grant is coming from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program.
The AFG Program supports fire departments across the country to ensure the safety of both first-responders and the public. The program provides funds for supplemental training, upgrades to protective equipment, facility modifications, and other supplies that protect firefighters and first-responders in moments of crisis. Grants are awarded to fire department-based and non-affiliated EMS organizations that best address the priorities of the AFG Program.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown announced the grant on Monday, Sept. 24.
“Ohio firefighters and first-responders work every day to protect our families,” said Brown. “We must support our first-responder organizations so that communities like Huber Heights have the resources to shield families and homes from fire hazards.”
Huber Heights will be replacing tanks purchased in 2005 that hold about 30 minutes of air. The department will be purchasing tanks that hold up to 45 minutes of air.
The city must match the grant with a 10% match which will come out of the fire department capital fund.
Fire Chief Mark Ashworth said the city was originally planning to phase in the purchase of the tanks due to the overall cost. He credited Battalion Chief Keith Knisely and Lt. Andy Rammel with writing the grant proposal that won the award.
“Fortunately, I have very good employees who do very well in writing grants,” Ashworth told City Council on Monday. “This will be one less capital burden we have to deal with over the next 2-3 years.”
Ashworth told council that the project must be completed within 12 months. Once council formally approves receiving the grant, expected to take place at Monday’s council meeting, the department will put together a Request for Proposals.
This is the second large grant received from AFG that Huber Heights has received in the past two years. The previous grant of $475,000 paid for a new fire engine.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.