Local fire departments get over $800K in grants for equipment

The cities of Vandalia, Trotwood, Brookville and Dayton will receive a combined $884,000 in grant funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters program.

The city of Vandalia has been awarded a total of $225,567, which will go toward replacement of breathing apparatus within its fire department.

According to Vandalia Fire Chief Chad Follick, the grant allows his department to address a critical need.

“We’ll be able to replace all of our Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), which is absolutely essential to our mission,” Follick said this week. “Our existing SCBA equipment is at least 15 years old and we’ve been having trouble maintaining it, as manufacturers have phased out replacement parts.”

The SCBA units give firefighters fresh, clean air to breathe while entering a hazardous environment.

“It’s one of the most important pieces of protective equipment we have,” Follick said. “Every firefighter uses one when responding to a fire or any incident where there may be something harmful in the air.”

As a condition of the grant program, each city is required to contribute a percentage of non-federal funds. Vandalia’s cost share for this grant is $11,278, according to officials.

“We try very hard to leverage our local tax dollars through grant programs like this,” said City Manager Dan Wendt. “A grant award of this magnitude allows us to keep our crews in the best possible equipment for the important job they do,” he said.

The city of Brookville will also use its $180,761 grant to fund the purchase of new SCBA. According to City Manager Sonja Keaton, the fire division’s equipment has reached the end of its useful life.

“These federal funds will protect the health and safety of our firefighters,” she said.

Brookville’s required cost share portion is $9,038.

The city of Trotwood, with its $324,670 grant, will upgrade its fire division’s portable and mobile radios, said Deputy City Manager Stephanie Kellum. The grant, along with the city’s $32,467 cost share portion, will replace 43 portable radios with accompanying equipment, and 22 mobile radios.

The city of Dayton is the other agency to receive the grant funding ($153,005 in their case), which is administered by FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration.

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