GEORGETOWN — Georgetown Chief Fred A. Mitchell Jr., Groveland Interim Fire Chief Richard York and Newbury Fire Chief Douglas Janvrin are pleased to announce that a regional Assistance to Firefighters Grant will allow all three departments to purchase new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), SCBA masks, air tank cylinders and Pak-Trackers.
The $629,254 regional grant will provide each department with lifesaving devices to replace their aging equipment.
“Obtaining this grant is part of a regional effort between our departments to work closer to increase safety for all three communities,” Chief Mitchell said. “This award enables us to better protect firefighters responding to an incident and the residents we serve every day.”
FEMA awarded a total of 101 SCBAs, 101 SCBA masks and 202 air pack cylinders to the three departments to replace their current equipment. All ladder and engine trucks will now have SCBAs and cylinders for every person on board.
Georgetown Fire Department: 30 SCBAs, 30 SCBA masks and 60 cylinders
Groveland Fire Department: 32 SCBAs, 32 SCBA masks and 62 cylinders
Newbury Fire Department: 39 SCBAs, 39 SCBA masks and 69 cylinders
Georgetown, Groveland and Newbury will also receive one Pak-Tracker each, which syncs to SCBAs’ GPS systems to pinpoint firefighters’ exact locations while inside a building.
“These Pak-Trackers will allow us to quickly locate and respond in the event that a firefighter becomes injured or trapped,” Chief Janvrin said. “We are now better prepared to respond to an emergency situation and save lives.”
In order to receive the grant, Georgetown, Groveland and Newbury committed to paying 10 percent of the total cost of the equipment. The three communities will split the $62,925 cost, with each allocating approximately $20,000.
Recognizing the need for new equipment, the three departments, under the leadership of Chief Mitchell, Chief Janvrin and retired Groveland Chief Robert Lay, worked cooperatively to complete the FEMA grant application. Georgetown Firefighter Taylor Balletto wrote the grant with assistance from Newbury Capt. Rob Serino, which was then submitted in February. The fire departments received notification of the grant award in July.
“We are extremely pleased to have been awarded the Assistance to Firefighters Grant to improve our access to lifesaving equipment,” Chief York said. “We hope to continue this regional partnership for future endeavors and projects that will directly benefit our residents.”
Administered through FEMA, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant works to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, grant allocations have helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.