Assistance to Firefighters Grant Used For Protective Equipment
The Reading Fire Department received a federal grant for the purchase of personal protective equipment in the amount of $159,364. The award was obtained by the efforts of the Fire Department through the US Fire Administration Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. The AFG program is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
According to FEMA, the primary goal of the grant is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, this program 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.
Through the grant, the Reading purchased the following items:
- 26 Scott brand self-contained breathing air packs for use in smoky or hazardous atmospheres.
- 52 thirty-minute compressed air cylinders.
- One Pak Tracker device designed to locate lost or trapped fire fighters.
- Twelve breathing face pieces.
- Two Scott Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) packs to use for fire fighters or fire victims trapped in hazardous environments.
Additionally, the Department will be purchasing hazardous gas monitors. The monitors test for carbon monoxide, explosive gases, sewer gas, and low oxygen environments.
The equipment has been received and was placed into service on October 19th. The new gear will replace the breathing units that have been used for over 13 years.
In November, Town Meeting will be able to move funding it had approved for this equipment towards a needed school building repair.