Fire Department to accept equipment grant

By ANDREA POTEET

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – The Fire Department will soon receive new equipment after the city’s emergency financial manager approved receipt of a federal grant.

EFM Joyce Parker announced her approval of the $200,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to fund 23 air packs, sets of bunker gear and emergency medical services overcoats Jan. 22.

Fire Chief Douglas LaFond said up to 75 percent of the department’s primary turnout gear is nearly 10 years old. The sets used as backup by firefighters are close to 20 years old.

A third-party company that tested the gear

recently recommended that the backup turnout gear be destroyed and the primary sets be used  as backup. The air packs are up to 15 years old, LaFond said.

The grant, awarded Jan. 4, requires a 10 percent match from the city. LaFond said the matching amount could be split between two fiscal years as the process for ordering new turnout gear could take many months.

Parker said the city should be able to come up with the matching funds over that period.

LaFond said he is looking into whether the city could sell the used air packs and overcoats, as some grants prohibit that because they are based on the stipulation that the existing equipment is unusable.

“We’ll do something with it,” LaFond said. “There’s gotta be something useful we can do. We’ll donate it to a community college to use for training or something, but we won’t just throw it out.”

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