Posts Tagged Federal Emergency Management Agency

Mount Prospect receives SAFER grant

Excerpts from the

Now that Mount Prospect Fire Chief John Malcolm has accepted a $1.3 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security to restore staffing reduced in 2010 following the recession, he is moving ahead with hiring.

The grant will pay the salaries and benefits for six firefighters, and put the engine at Station 13 back into service. If the hires are veterans, the grant could extend an additional year for each one. Two are veterans, Malcolm said.

Reflecting on the cuts made in the wake of the recession, Trustee Paul Hoefert acknowledged they had to make hard decisions.

“To a person at that time, on the sitting board, it was said that when we could those would be the first staff positions that we would want to get back in place,” he said. And this SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant is helping us to do that.”

thanks Dan

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Fire departments receive federal grants

Excerpts from the

Mount Prospect’s fire department could have its staffing restored to 2010 levels, thanks to a $1.3 million federal grant that would allow the village to hire six additional full-time firefighters. But now village officials face the challenge of paying for the new hires once the two-year grant ends.

At Tuesday’s joint meeting of the village board and the finance commission, Mayor Arlene Juracek and trustees gave Fire Chief John Malcolm the signal to accept the grant.

Although the grant brings benefits, it also poses challenges, as outlined by Acting Village Manager David Strahl. At the end of the grant period, the full cost of the additional personnel will amount to $922,000 during 2018.

Strahl suggested funding options for 2018, including pre-funding through the property tax, using reserves, boosting ambulance fees, and increasing the business license fee from $75 to a minimum of $100, with the fee based on overall square footage, to more accurately reflect the cost of a fire inspection.

Additional revenue could be generated by charging for responding to a fire, something that is done on the West Coast, although no departments in the immediate area do so, he said.

Besides providing funding for six more firefighters, the grant would allow the department to promote three current firefighters to the rank of lieutenant and reinstate Engine 13. That engine, based out of downtown Station 13, was put out of commission in 2011 as a result of budget cuts. With Engine 13 out of service, the department has been using a tower ladder to respond to routine calls.

Excerpts from

… the Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded a $216,667 grant to the East Joliet Fire Protection District for operations and safety. The funding is provided through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which seeks to strengthen the nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards.

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Sycamore fire department updates

Sycamore fire department receive federal grant

Excerpts from the

The Sycamore Fire Department has received a $35,620 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to purchase 16 new sets of protective clothing.

A news release states that U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced the grants this week for nine organizations including fire and emergency medical services across the state, totaling $866,923 between them.

The grant covers 95 percent of the estimated $37,400 price tag of the new gear, according to the release. The clothing it is replacing is more than 10 years old. National Fire Protection Standards state that protective clothing must be replaced when it reaches 10 years old, regardless of the clothing’s condition, Sycamore fire officials said.

The funding was provided by the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which has provided about $5.25 billion since 2001 in federal funding across the country to help organizations afford new equipment, personal protective equipment, training and vehicles, according to a news release.

Sycamore approves contract with firefighters

Excerpts from the

 The Sycamore City Council on Monday approved a four-year contract with Sycamore’s 26-member firefighter union.

By a 6-0 vote the council approved the contract that includes a 2.25 percent pay raise this year and next, and a 2.5 percent increase in 2017 and 2018. The new contract, which will cost the city about $2.2 million each year until it expires in 2019, also includes a system that caps the number of firefighters that responds to shift recalls during the day at 11, a no-layoff clause, and a retirement health care funding plan.

Mayor Ken Mundy said the contract includes “a couple of nice features that encourages self-investment in the unit” for retirement.

“All of us need to do more than our pension, or whatever plan we’re working under through our employer, to be sure we have funds set aside for retirement,” Mundy said. “Both sides worked together in a real respectful and honorable way to come to some middle ground and some agreement on the four-year contract. We’re very pleased.”

The approved deal mirrors deals made earlier this year with the Sycamore’s two other unions – the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 133 and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3957.

“All three of our bargaining units have been very good about reasonable requests for increases through some tough years,” Mundy said.


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North Chicago receives federal grant

From the Lake County News-Sun:

The oxygen tanks firefighters use to enter burning buildings or when smoke conditions outside are dangerous are essential — and North Chicago’s Fire Department is celebrating because it can finally replace its old ones.

“Our old equipment was from 2002 and it was so obsolete that we couldn’t repair it. They no longer made the parts for it,” Fire Chief Dell Urban said.

This week the department announced it had obtained 30 new self-contained breathing apparatuses, a significant upgrade over the old equipment, with the help of a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant. They also got a new Cascade system, which refills the bottles.

“The new ones have built in safety provisions and they increase our air from 30 minutes to 45 minutes so we have more time for search and recovery,” Urban said.

They will also have emergency oxygen bottles for when a firefighter gets trapped inside a structure that gives rescuers 60 minutes of air time.

The equipment cost $195,000. The federal share is 90 percent or $175,500, while the city has to cover 10 percent of the cost or $19,500. The North Chicago City Council approved its share last week.

The grant money came from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, administered by FEMA in cooperation with the department’s United States Fire Administration.

Each breathing apparatus bought with the grant money will include a high-pressure, 45-minute air bottle, breathing regulator, frame, harness, full face piece, and a spare bottle. The new equipment is expected to have a 10-year service life.

thanks Dan

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Homewood FD receives federal grant

This from

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced today (July 2, 2014) that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has made a $1,795,860 investment in the Homewood Fire Department in Homewood, Illinois. Today’s funding will allow 18 fire departments throughout the south suburbs to buy portable radios, which will improve interoperability among departments in the area when fire fighters respond to fires, severe weather, and other emergencies.  Homewood applied for the grant on behalf of the region’s joint dispatch center.

“We must ensure our nation’s fire fighters and first-responders are equipped with the best, most up-to-date tools to do their jobs effectively. Today’s grants will help meet that goal.”          

The funding is provided through the DHS’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program which seeks to strengthen the Nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and fire related hazards. Since 2001, the AFG has provided approximately $5.25 billion in federal funding to first-responder organizations across the country to help purchase response equipment, personal protective equipment, training, and vehicles. The AFG is in the process of awarding approximately $320.9 million in competitive grants to fire departments and non-affiliated EMS organizations from Fiscal Year 2013 AFG funding.

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Area fire departments receive money from federal grants

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced today (July 2, 2014) that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded $231,210 in grants to fire departments in the Chicagoland area. Today’s funding will support and improve the capability of each department to respond to fires and other types of emergencies. 

Under this announcement, the following fire departments will receive funding for operations and safety:

  • Streamwood Fire Department(Streamwood, Illinois): $211,410 in funding;
  • Park Forest Fire Department (Park Forest, Illinois): $19,800 in funding.

   Lake Bluff Fire Department (Lake Bluff, Illinois): $42,513 in funding

The funding is provided through the DHS’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program which seeks to strengthen the Nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and fire related hazards. 


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Streamwood receives SAFER Grant – reopens shuttered firehouse

The Daily Herald has an article about the Streamwood Fire Department reopening a fire station after being closed for four years.

Nearly four years after what some residents saw as the sudden closing of a Streamwood firehouse, officials have quietly reopened the station thanks to a grant that put more firefighters on the job. The Park Boulevard station began operating again this week. At least three firefighter-paramedics are now assigned there for each 24-hour shift.

Fire Chief Chris Clark said Friday he expects the reopening to reduce the time it takes for crews to respond to emergencies, especially along Lake Street where industrial developments have popped up on what was vacant land in recent years. Facilities like a 24-hour food processing plant have contributed to a rise in calls for service on the village’s south side, Clark said.

In December 2012, Streamwood won a $627,000 federal grant to hire three firefighters. Only one other department in the state received the funding administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant enabled the department to bring its ranks up to 50 firefighting personnel. With the grant, provided by the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program, the department can now run three-person crews in all of the stations.

Streamwood weathered the economic slump by reducing the force to 47 firefighting positions through attrition. The department also eliminated the position of a full-time fire inspector who retired and reassigned those duties to other staffers. And in April 2010, the department shuttered the Park Boulevard station, sparking a protest and fears of an increase in response times. But officials defended the move, arguing that the closing improved operations.

Matt Dobson, who spearheaded the public outcry, wanted more of a heads-up to neighborhoods affected by the change. Village officials, though, say they reviewed the closing in a budget meeting. Dobson learned the station had reopened only when he drove by and saw the American flag flying outside the entrance. Up until Monday, the department used the station for training and storage of equipment.

Streamwood must keep the three firefighter-paramedics on the job for two years. With a rebounding local economy, the chief expects the department to retain them even longer.“We are very confident that we will be able to maintain those positions through our current revenue streams,” he said.

thanks Dan 

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Naperville gets SAFER grant

The Daily Herald has an article about the Naperville FD being awarded a SAFER grant;

Staffing a fire department can be a challenging task of shifting numbers and hours and personnel, but the job got a bit easier for Naperville Chief Mark Puknaitis with the recent announcement of more than $1 million in grant funding to pay salaries and benefits over the next two years.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave Naperville the money through the SAFERprogram, which stands for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response.

Puknaitis said the funds likely will allow his department to hire three firefighter/paramedics. The hiring will help fill a void left by attrition over the past few years, which has resulted in six vacant firefighter/paramedic positions and two vacant administrative positions.

“It’s important because it’s a million dollars and it’s something that is going to help us maintain our staffing levels in the fire department,” Puknaitis said.

Any firefighter/paramedics hired using the SAFER grant money, which totals $1,002,000, would work in the operations division. Puknaitis said Naperville currently has 185 operations personnel split into three 24-hour shifts.

The chief will work with the city’s finance department to form a budget and determine exactly how many new firefighter/paramedics he can hire using the SAFER grant.

Recruitment to fill the positions must begin within 90 days of the city receiving the grant, and the city must maintain its previous staffing level and the new positions for the two-year duration of the funding.

Puknaitis said about 2,500 fire departments across the nation applied for the SAFER funding and only between 300 and 350 received it.

thanks Dan

Also, from the Naperville Sun … apparently Naperville’s firefighting agency also got a grant …

Naperville’s firefighting agency will be getting a hand with covering its staffing expenses, thanks to more than $1 million in federal grant money announced by local lawmakers.

The offices of U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Naperville) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) notified the city of the $1,002,000 award, part of the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The grant program is designed to help prevent staff cuts or to rehire responders who have been let go because of funding constraints.

“It is critical that we make sure our first responders have the tools they need to keep our communities safe,” Foster said in a news release.

Naperville Fire Department Chief Mark Puknaitis said the city applied for the SAFER funds last year. The department currently has six vacancies in its operations division, he said, and several current firefighters plan to retire this year.

The wave of retirees was not unexpected. When the city’s growth boom was gaining steam in the late 1970s and early ’80s, firefighters were being hired in groups of 15 or more, the chief said. During that period, the city’s three fire stations increased to the 10 in use today.

“Our department is in a natural progression of people retiring,” Puknaitis said. “We’re going to see that trend continue, in the next five to 10 years for sure.”

While the new hires will be paid less, he noted the flip side is that they will not bring to the job the body of experience in public safety that has been accrued among those leaving the profession.

“We need to have the funding to replace them,” said the chief, emphasizing that his department minimizes personnel costs as much as possible, and applies for grants at nearly every opportunity. “An award like this helps me tremendously in getting approval for positions that I have in my budget. … It’s not, ‘Hey we’ve got extra money so let’s put a couple more people on.’”

The money, to be funneled to the department over the next two years, is required to go to personnel and benefits. It can’t be used for such purposes as remodeling a firehouse or buying new equipment, Puknaitis said.

“A million bucks over two years is huge,” he said. “And they don’t give that kind of money to just anybody.”

thanks Chris

firefighting agency … are you kidding me?

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Hoffman Estates considers new alert system for fire department

This from Ron Wolkoff … the source is unclear:

Hoffman Estates firefighters may soon be benefiting from an improved alerting system and new mobile computers for five fire department vehicles.

While meeting as the public health and safety committee Monday, the Hoffman Estates village board reviewed a request to waive bidding and purchase $206,200 in new fire station alerting equipment for each of the village’s four fire stations.

The new equipment will replace systems that are more than 20 years old. It will match the master control panel that was installed in each station last year by the department’s dispatching center — Northwest Central Dispatch System — when it switched to a new computerized dispatch system.

Benefits of the new equipment include escalating tone signals and clear voice announcements, which will likely reduce cardiac stress and anxiety in firefighters and improve response time.

“Even before all the dispatch information is verbalized, there are scrolling screens and special lights on the ceiling that come on that inform members of the station that they’re going to be due to respond,” said Fire Chief Jeff Jorian.

The system is also equipped with an automatic power supply, ensuring emergency calls won’t be missed if the fire station experiences a power outage.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant to the department that will cover 80 percent of the cost of the new equipment.

The village will cover the remaining 20 percent, with nearly $31,000 from reserves in the general fund and about $10,300 from reserves in the EDA administration fund.

In addition to the new alerting equipment, the board also reviewed a request to waive bidding and purchase $31,000 worth of new mobile work stations to be installed in a new fire engine that has yet to be purchased and four existing vehicles in the fleet. The current mobile computer equipment in the four existing vehicles was installed in 2007 and 2008.

The village’s 2013 operating budget contains funding for the purchase of the mobile work stations.

Final board approval for the purchase of the mobile work stations and the alerting system is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 2.


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Lincolnwood FD receives grant

From the Village of Lincolnwood:



Date: June 14, 2013

Fire Department Receives Grant Funding

LINCOLNWOOD–Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has recently awarded $305,877 in grants to fire departments and municipalities throughout Illinois. The purpose of the funding will help support and improve the capability of the department to respond to fires and other types of emergencies.

The Lincolnwood Fire Department was awarded $105,541 for their grant to purchase new breathing air packs for the firefighters.

“Our nation’s firefighters are called upon day after day to protect America’s citizens,” Durbin said. “As these brave men and women put themselves in harm’s way, we must ensure that they are equipped with the best tools possible to do their jobs well, and today’s grants will help meet that goal.”

The funding is provided through the DHS’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Since 2001, the AFG has provided approximately $5.25 billion in federal funding to first-responder organizations across the country to help purchase response equipment, personal protective equipment, training, and vehicles.


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