By Dedra Cordle
The Pleasant Township Fire Department has received another federal grant.
At the Sept. 25 board of trustees meeting, Fire Chief Brian Taylor announced that the department will receive $166,000 to purchase new safety gear through the Federal Emergency Management’s Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant.
According to Taylor, the department would use the grant money to order 17 sets of turnout gear and 19 SCBAs (self-contained breathing apparatus) to assist the firefighters as they respond to emergencies.
“Receiving this grant means a ton,” Taylor said, “but the biggest thing is that it makes us safer while doing our jobs.”
He said knowing that their equipment is new and up-to-date would bring them a “peace of mind.”
As per the stipulation in the grant, the township will pick up 5 percent of the total cost.
Taylor called that a huge bargain.
“Typically, turnout gear can cost between $2,500 and $3,000 each so if you’re talking about 55 firefighters it can obviously get quite expensive.”
He said the township was fortunate to receive the grant.
“Not only is it good for the department and our personnel, but it is also good for the taxpayers,” he said.
Taylor said that the turnout gear and the SCBAs will likely arrive at the station within six months.
The news of the safety gear and equipment grant follows July’s announcement that the department was awarded a $145,000 FEMA grant to purchase a new brush truck.
Taylor said the department is currently working on the design specifications of the brush truck and that bids will be placed as soon as that phase is complete. He estimates that it will take seven to eight months following the bid process to build the truck and have it delivered to the department.
“That’s my rough estimate, but it could arrive sooner,” Taylor said.