The Bowling Green Volunteer Fire Department was able to purchase some much-needed equipment recently, with a little help from the Department of Homeland Security.
The department re-ceived an award in the amount of $92,264 from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security. The money was earmarked for personal protective equipment.
Weber said the new equipment is long overdue. His staff has been making do with outdated equipment.
"Our stuff (was) old and way past replacement time," he said. "But part of being a firefighter is ingenuity."
Weber and his crew of 19 volunteers will no longer be forced to struggle with substandard gear. The department used the grant to acquire a laundry list of essential items, including 2,000 feet of hose, a new generator, a smoke fan, on-scene lighting equipment and a SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) unit. The department also purchased new pagers and radios.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program "is designed to assist local fire departments in protecting citizens and firefighters against the effects of fire and fire-related incidents," according to the Department of Homeland Security's website.
Congress appropriated $650 million to the DHS's Office for Domestic Preparedness earlier this year. According to the site, 5 percent of that sum was allocated specifically for fire prevention activities. Eighteen Indiana fire departments received grants totaling $12,251,437 since the program was instituted in 2003.
The deadline for application to the AFG Program is Sept. 30, 2006. Area departments that wish to apply for a grant can find additional information at www.firegrantsupport.gov.