Local Fire Departments Win Funding from Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded a $194,504 Assistance to Firefighters Grant program award to the Westover Volunteer Fire Co. and $323,000 to the Winburne Volunteer Fire Co..
Nationally, the AFG awards, which will be distributed in phases, will ultimately provide approximately $485 million to roughly 4500 fire-related organizations.

Through the AFG program, the department awards grants to firefighters, emergency response personnel and first responders throughout the country to enhance response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public, with respect to fire and other hazards. The grants provide resources for local fire departments and emergency medical services programs to purchase or receive training, conduct first responder health and safety programs, and buy equipment and response vehicles.

“The Assistance to Firefighters Grants program has been instrumental in building capacity and has provided needed resources for our nation’s firefighters,” said Under Secretary for Preparedness George Foresman. “From the purchase of equipment to first responder training, the AFG program has had an immensely positive impact on fire related initiatives which has directly resulted in saving lives and property in communities throughout the United States.”

Due to the highly competitive nature of the AFG, more than 18,000 applications, totaling close to $2.5 billion in grant requests, were received for fiscal year 2006. Since 2001, the AFG has provided over $2.4 billion in grants to fire departments and first responder organizations to purchase response equipment, personal protective equipment, vehicles and fire prevention activities.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is administered by the department’s Directorate for Preparedness through its Office of Grants and Training in cooperation with the United States Fire Administration, also a division of the Preparedness Directorate.

The Directorate for Preparedness bolsters the nation’s security through a multilayered system of preparedness measures based on risk assessment and management. Working with federal, state, local and private sector partners, the Directorate for Preparedness identifies threats, determines vulnerabilities and targets resources where risk is greatest. Through grants, training and exercises, fire service, public health and citizen preparedness initiatives, the Directorate fosters a layered system of protective measures to safeguard our borders, critical infrastructure and cyber security and telecommunications systems.

The Office of Grants and Training, the federal government’s lead agency responsible for preparing the nation against terrorism and other catastrophic events, provides a wide array of support to the emergency preparedness and response community. The U.S. Fire Administration works to reduce life and economic losses due to fire and related emergencies through leadership, advocacy, coordination and support.

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