Scott City's fire department seeks grant money

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

The Scott City Fire Department has applied for a $62,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, fire chief Jay Cassout announced at Monday's Scott City Council meeting.

This will be the third year that the fire department has applied for this federal grant, which has been given out to fire departments nationwide since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

In 2001 the department received $91,000 and $45,000 in 2003.

Each fire department must specify in its applications whether they intend to use the grant money for vehicles, operation and safety equipment, or station renovation.

On each of its applications, the fire department has asked for the money to go toward equipment, Cassout said.

The applications must also specify what equipment the department would like to purchase and its estimated cost. The federal government will pay 90 percent of the purchases and the city will pay the remaining 10 percent.

This year, Cassout said he would like to purchase more air bags that are used in lifting heavy amounts of weight, and an automatic external defibrillator.

"It supplements our budget," he said. "This is equipment we couldn't get except for the grant."

Grant money received in the past two years has gone to equipment such as a thermal imaging camera that detects areas of high heat, allowing firefighters to see hot spots in a wall and, when it is too dark to see, bodies.

In addition to the equipment, Cassout said he would like to be able to hold a 40-hour rescue training course for the volunteer firefighters. He said the course is estimated to cost $12,000.

The department will likely have to wait about six months before FEMA makes a decision on the grant application.

Although the money certainly helps the department, Cassout said without it, "we'll still be able to do our jobs and do it effectively."

335-6611, extension 182

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