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Fire Department Awarded Grants

Money will be spent on equipment for the Rescue Squad.

The Friday was awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers the program.

The $30,000 grant in equipment comes from the Operations & Safety component of the program. About $24,000 is the federal share for tools and equipment for the Rescue Squad.

“We'll provide additional details on that at a more appropriate time,” said HVFD President Dave Iannone in an email. “Thanks to HVFD members Matt Westerbeck for writing the grant and Matt Davy for coordinating the grant package with FEMA.”

The department has submitted grant requests to the program almost every year since the program began in 2001, Iannone said. The HVFD won its first of these grants in 2007. That grant was for $280,000 for a new Rescue Squad, which replaced a 1993 unit. In 2009, the HVFD was awarded a $260,000 grant for a new engine, which replaced 1988 and 1990 vehicles and $14,000 for a thermal imager.

These amounts are the federal share.

The department also received $244,000 in 2010 as part of the SAFER Awards (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) for a four-year program to provide tuition support to its college live-in program participants.

“Without the support of these programs and the $800,000 plus in funding provided, the department would not have been able to make these critical vehicle and equipment purchases, recruit and support talented volunteer staffing and serve the community as robustly as we do today,” Iannone said. “The continues also be very supportive of the department, assisting us with financing the balance of our engine acquisition.”

For vehicle grants the HVFD provides a lower match of funds and through financing, which on its own would not have come close to supporting these programs and vehicles, Iannone said. There is no match for the SAFER grant program.

“Among the department's focuses going forward will be securing funds for refurbishment, an addition or replacement of our current facility, which was originally built as a sub-station but now houses a modern fleet of fire, rescue and EMS vehicles and a large membership and staff, including over a dozen student live-ins,” Iannone said. “Last year … was our busiest year ever with nearly 6,000 emergency responses.”

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