Fire departments across the county receive grants

Last month, several fire departments throughout the county were awarded nearly $1 million dollars in grant money to help them better serve their local communities. Recipients of this year’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program awards were Oneonta Fire and Rescue, Rosa Fire Department, St. Mountain Fire Department, and West Blount Fire Department – Hayden.

Established in 2001, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel, to enhance efficiency, and to offer support necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

Oneonta Fire and Rescue was awarded almost $710,000 to purchase a new ladder truck. It will replace the nearly 30-year-old ladder apparatus currently in service.

Rosa Fire and Rescue received $65,000 to purchase and install a fixed SCBA compressor and containment fill station. With this equipment, the department will be able to fill SCBA and SCUBA bottles on site without having to go to a neighboring fire department for refill after a fire. It will also allow firefighters to return to service quicker and will be used for better training scenarios.

St. Mountain Fire Department was awarded a $51,000 grant. This money will enable them to purchase new battery powered extraction tools and stabilization equipment.

West Blount Fire District – Hayden was ecstatic to be selected as a $170,000 grant recipient through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. They will use $160,500 to purchase three cardiac monitors and three CPR devices. The remaining $10,500 will aid in the purchase of COVID-19 related disposable EMS supplies.

The AFG grant is a highly competitive federal grant; therefore, having four grants awarded to Blount County fire departments is great news for our county. These monies will greatly enhance their ability to save lives and protect property while responding to emergency situations.