The NBS Joint Fire District has been awarded a grant of $45,952 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to purchase equipment.
The grant was announced Wednesday by Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
Voinovich is a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees the Department of Homeland Security. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is part of the Homeland Security Department.
NBS Fire Chief Jim Kelbley said the grant is to purchase air packs for firefighters. Kelbley said he believes the fire district requested money to buy eight air packs, worth about $6,000 each. The fire district is required to pay a 5-percent match for the purchase.
"Since 9/11, things have really been helped on the firefighter side of it," Kelbley said.
Kelbley said the fire district likely would invite companies to demonstrate fire packs - self-contained breathing apparatus, with harness, face masks and hoods-and would seek to make the best purchase possible. The fire district's current fire pack equipment is more than 30 years old, and some replacement parts are no longer available.
According to FEMA, the Assistance to Firefighters Grants are used to help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. Since 2004, nearly $2.75 billion in grant money has been awarded to first responder organizations.
"Our firefighters need the proper resources to protect their communities," Voinovich said. "These funds will help Ohio's first responders carry out their vital missions."
Brown also commented.
"Our first responders put their lives on the line every day across Ohio," Brown said. "These funds ensure that firefighters in Northwestern Ohio have the resources they need to perform their jobs safely."
The NBS Fire District provides emergency services for Big Springs and Seneca Townships, and the village of New Riegel.