Township gets grant for fire department

The Franklin Township Fire Department will soon have a little extra money coming their way.

Fire Chief Richard Howard recently announced that an Assistance to Firefighters Grant was awarded to the township. The department will receive $80,585 towards the purchase of several Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses (SCBA).

Howard said the township started applying for this grant four years ago and just kept trying every year.

"If we didn’t get the grant, we’d have to buy out of pocket next year because most of our stuff becomes outdated and will not be usable next year, or at least by the end of next year," said Howard.

He said firefighters use the equipment to help them breath when they enter hazardous situations, like burning homes.

"It’s the bottles, the harnesses, extra bottles, masks, voice amplifiers, and it meets the current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for fire fighters," said Howard.

The grant was provided through the Department of Homeland Security, which goes through 30 or 40 rounds of grant-giving in each fiscal year.

"It just depends on how many people applied, how big the grants are going to be, how much they’re awarding" said Howard.

The township will pay to have each fireman fitted for the equipment to ensure the masks are properly sized to avoid air leaks or outside contamination.

Howard said if the fit test is not done, it is possible some would not use the size that they order, which would cause the township to have the masks re-fitted at their own expense.

"There’s no do-over on government expense," said Howard.

Howard said the process of determining who gets the grants is based on several factors, such as the demographics of the community, the number of runs and the fire district finances.

The trustees agreed to pay up to $1,500 to perform a mask fit test for this new equipment.

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