Arlington firefighters get almost $109,000 from FEMA

SEATTLE — Arlington firefighters are among the recipients of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program that benefits local fire departments and organizations in the state of Washington.

Arlington has been awarded $108,969 from the total of $962,253 for the whole state in the most recent round of distributions announced March 6.

Arlington's grant will be used to upgrade the department's self-contained breathing apparatus, said Arlington Fire Chief Jim Rankin.

"Some of our stuff needs up grading," Rankin said. "We're just trying to stay ahead of the game."

Rankin said some of the old equipment that is still in serviceable condition might go to volunteer agencies, or if it's too old, will be disposed of.

Rankin said it takes his department about 10 hours to write a grant proposal since they got their first grant in 2005.

"We aren't applying for anything in 2009," he said.

Rankin explained that FEMA offers three grant programs, for staffing, equipment and safety.

North County Regional Fire Authority covering Bryant and Lake Goodwin received $38,000 from the fund in January.

AFG awards provide approximately $500 million to fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations throughout the country.

The acting assistant administrator of the U. S. Fire Administration, Dr. Denis Onieal said the AFG funds have a direct impact on the safety of both residents and firefighters throughout the nation since 2001.

“This week’s round of AFG funding amounts to $56,796,250 nationwide," Onieal said.

The AFG program is an important component of the effort to strengthen the nation’s overall level of preparedness for disasters of all kinds.

FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and man-made disasters.

For information see the Web site.

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