Grants aid equipment and safety

Photo by Tereasa Nims Dearborn Fire Chief Joseph Murray (left), Firefighters Aaron Sarnovsky and James Bishop, Capt. Jeffrey Beaty and Assistant Fire Chief D.J. Begeman show off some of the defibrillators, saws and helmets acquired via grants.

Photo by Tereasa Nims
Dearborn Fire Chief Joseph Murray (left), Firefighters Aaron Sarnovsky and James Bishop, Capt. Jeffrey Beaty and Assistant Fire Chief D.J. Begeman show off some of the defibrillators, saws and helmets acquired via grants.

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

MELVINDALE — It’s been a good grant year for the Dearborn/Melvindale Fire Department.

In an effort to increase funding for materials and apparatus, Fire Chief Joseph Murray said the department applied for and received several grants, the latest being a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant for $461,040 from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program on Oct. 16.

“Every city is trying to do more with less,” Murray said. “It was really important for us to seek out alternate funding.”

The department as a whole was ending the “service life” of a large portion of equipment.

“This has been our top grant writing year in as long as I can remember,” Murray said. “It’s been a very successful year.”

The money from various grants helped the department buy new saws, thermal imaging cameras, intake valves and safety harnesses.

“A lot of this equipment is up for replacement,” Murray said.

Without the grants, the city would have had to find a way to replace the equipment.

Murray said the safety harnesses allow firefighters to attach to a portion of a house or apartment or do high-angle rescues.

“If the firefighters are trapped on the second floor or higher, this lets them hook on to a part of the room and control their decent or hang on until someone can get to them,” Murray said.

The Melvindale station is getting a vehicle exhaust, which will help eliminate diesel fumes in the building.

“The guys are exposed to enough,” Murray said, of the $70,000 grant the department received for the item.

In addition to the $461,040 grant, with the 10 percent match from FEMA, the department added positive pressure ventilators that help blow in clean air to fires.

Murray said the department also added 40 fire helmets. The helmets have a 10 year life cycle.

The chief said the department also added emergency medical service jackets.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at tnims@bewickpublications.com.)