Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded a $310,996.00 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to Guthrie Fire-EMS. The money will be used to purchasing lifesaving emergency medical equipment for the department’s ambulances and rescue vehicles, according to Fire Chief Eric Harlow.
Specifically, the funds will allow for the replacement of the department’s cardiac monitors. The department’s current monitors are outdated and no longer supported by the manufacturer and were in need of replacement. The federal funds will be coupled with approximately $32,000.00 in local matching funds to complete the purchase.
Nationally, the AFG awards, which will be distributed in phases, will ultimately provide approximately $310 million to fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations throughout the country.
“This grant funding will allow our department to replace much-needed, lifesaving equipment that is utilized on almost every EMS call,” Harlow commented. “We were on borrowed time with our current monitors and this grant could not have come at a better time.”
The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG 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.
This is the fourth year that Guthrie has received funding from the AFG program.
In 2008, AFG funds were awarded for the purchase of new self-contained breathing apparatus, in 2012, a grant was utilized to purchase EMS equipment along with wildland firefighting protective gear and in 2014, funds were received to replace most of the departments fire hose, nozzles and foam firefighting equipment.