An anticipated $45,333 federal grant has been awarded to the Essex Fire Department to purchase firefighting gear.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) will fund the purchase of 17 complete sets of structural firefighting gear (helmet, coat, pants, gloves, and boots).
“We are very pleased to finally receive this grant; this was our second attempt at applying,” said Essex Fire Chief Craig Jackson. “Once the gear is received, it will replace about 85% of gear that is damaged or considered outdated according to NFPA,” said Jackson. “I would like to thank the Essex Fire District #1 Board of Fire Commissioners for their support in our almost 2-year effort to secure this much needed funding.”
Essex Fire District #1 Chairwoman Kristin Kimball echoed Chief Jackson’s enthusiasm “It’s a huge win for the department and the community”.
The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and State Fire Training Academies. This funding is for critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operations efficiencies, foster interoperability, and support community resilience. The total money available for awards was $345 million.
The Essex Fire Department, established in the early 1800s, has 20 volunteer firefighters serving a 37 square-mile area, including 6 miles of waterfront. The Department averages 85 calls for service a year, many of which are mutual-aid responses to neighboring Fire Districts.