(The Center Square) – Two Iowa fire departments in the Second Congressional District received fire prevention and safety grants totaling about $275,000.
The Department of Homeland Security Fire Prevention and Safety grant program has awarded $91,883.64 to Burlington Fire Department and $180,223.33 to Osceola Fire Department, Rep. Mariannette Miller Meeks, IA-02, announced in a news release. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the program with the U.S. Fire Administration. The fiscal year 2020 program awarded $35.51 million to “an estimated 100 eligible first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.”
Osceola Fire Department received a grant for a 34-foot “state of the art” fire safety training LION Group trailer that will teach community members about common fire and severe weather emergencies in role playing scenarios, according to a department news release.
The department and Clarke County Emergency Management entered into an agreement to provide the tool to the community and will work with other departments to provide the training to “as many people as we can for many years to come,” the department said in the release.
Burlington Fire Department Fire Chief Matt Trexel told The Center Square in an emailed statement that the department is purchasing two heart monitors and two LUCAS devices for its ambulances.
“All of our ambulances will now be fully outfitted to transmit 12-lead EKGs and have the LUCAS devices for automated chest compressions,” he said. “Together this will improve the chances of patients with cardiac issues or in cardiac arrest to have better outcomes.… It allows us to run up to 5 ambulances simultaneously without any difference in the service level provided. Right now only 3 of the 5 have the LUCAS devices.”
Burlington will be required to pay 10% of the cost for the equipment, Trexel said.
The program awards grants directly to fire departments and non-profit organizations to support firefighter health and safety research and development. Fire service subject-matter experts weigh into the awards process, and applicants “whose requests best address the priorities of the FY 2020 FP&S Program” receive awards, the release from Miller-Meeks’ office said. Miller-Meeks serves on the Homeland Security Committee.