A fire training academy and 10 fire departments in New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas have been awarded more than $1.54 million in preparedness grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The grant in New Mexico totals $56,858 and covers the cost of firefighting equipment for the Questa Volunteer Fire Department. The grants in Arkansas total $342,100 and pay for an all-terrain firefighting truck for the Etowah Fire Department and firefighting equipment for the Arkansas Fire Training Academy in Camden.
In Louisiana, the grants total $649,642 and cover costs for communications equipment for the Baskin Fire Department and firefighting equipment for Fire District 7 in Webster Parish. In Oklahoma, the grants total $58,691 and cover the costs of firefighting equipment for Broken Bow Fire and Rescue and the Gotebo Volunteer Fire Department.
In Texas, the grants total $434,125 and pay for a Thermal Imaging Camera for the Matador Volunteer Fire Department; firefighting equipment for the Punkin-Evergreen Volunteer Fire Department in New Waverly and the Saint Hedwing Volunteer Fire Department; and computer equipment and dispatch software for Potter County Fire-Rescue in Amarillo.
The federal grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. The primary goal of the AFG is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders get critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.