From Chief of Department
September 8, 2021
I am very happy to announce that I was notified last week, that our fire department has been chosen as a recipient of an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) in the amount of $106,000. The AFG is an annual grant opportunity for funding for various firefighting equipment. This is available to all fire departments in the US and as such, it is very competitive and not easy to “win.” The application process is very complex, requiring much information including a narrative section that requires very persuasive reasoning as to why you need this particular equipment, how it will improve firefighter safety and operations and, why our city cannot afford to purchase it outright. I want to thank Assistant Chief, Chris Close, for putting in endless hours and much thought and effort in writing for this grant. I also want to thank one of our awesome citizens, Amanda Shepler, for assisting us with this grant application. Amanda, who is a professional and very skilled, “Grant Writer,” also put in many hours of time and effort collaborating with Chief Close to help make sure our application was complete and well written. Amanda did so, offering her services at no charge to the city. This is not the first time Amanda has helped us. She assisted with numerous other grant opportunities including one that provided us with $203,000 for new breathing apparatus and a SAFER grant which provided funding ($359,448!!!) to cover part of the salaries for 2 new firefighters for 3 years. THANK YOU AMANDA! One of Chief Close’s “extra” duties are to keep track over the department’s vast array equipment and to keep me informed about our most critical needs. Several years ago, Chief Close noted our aging fire hose and appliance inventory. A large portion of our hose was 20+ years old as were many nozzles and other related equipment (some of this stuff was acquired in the 1970’s!). We have tried to keep up with these needs, budgeting for as much hose as possible each year, but it has not been enough to maintain our needs at a reliable enough level. We have applied for this grant over the last several years but have been unsuccessful. Thankfully, because of Amanda and Chief Close’s efforts, we will now be able acquire this much needed equipment.