Life-saving grants

By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

The Franklin Township Fire Department’s efforts to secure grant funding for much-needed gear has finally paid off.

Recently the fire department was notified that they have received several grants. One of those grants is a $35,000 Ohio Department of EMS grant that will be used to purchase heart monitors.

The current heart monitors the township has are outdated and won’t be able to be serviced by 2018. A new monitor costs around $35,000, so the township has had issues being able to replace these outdated, but crucial tools.

“We use these heart monitors 15 to 20 times a day, so this piece of equipment is crucial to both our fire and EMS services,” said Chas Adams, assistant fire chief for Franklin Township. “As we continue to lose money from the state, we need to find additional sources of revenue to replace very outdated equipment.”

The township also was notified that the fire department received a $10,000 grant to replace smoke detectors in the township.

“The fire department will be going door-to-door and checking and replacing old smoke detectors,” said Don Cook, township trustee. “If a resident has a smoke detector, they will replace the batteries if needed as well.”

With over 7,000 single family homes in the township, the fire department will start in the most populated part of the township and move from house to house. According to Cook, the fire department will keep going until they run out of smoke detectors.

“When they run out they will stop and reapply for the grant the next year,” Cook said. “If they get the grant again they will start where they left off and continues to hit each neighborhood in the township.”

Applying for grants has become a regular practice for the fire department. As the department faces an almost million dollar debt, applying for grant is the only way for the department to replace outdated equipment.

The department applied for a staffing grant in 2015 after having a levy fail for the third time. The township received a $1.4 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant and was able to hire eight firefighters.

The department is still waiting to hear if it received a $180,000 Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) and a $100,000 Ohio Capital Grant. Both of these grants would be used to purchase necessary department equipment like additional heart monitors, a new foam truck and other vital equipment.

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