Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4) announced the Franklin Square Fire Department was awarded $297,054 for Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety from the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
The department will use its grant toward the purchase of a Mobile Training Unit (MTU). The MTU is a two-story, 35-foot trailer-mounted, fully mobile and self-contained training device. The MTU is capable of creating versatile and realistic emergency training scenarios while ensuring firefighter safety. The MTU is portable and can easily be transported to locations outside Franklin Square for use by other area departments.
"Quality training is essential to ensure the effectiveness and safety of any firefighter," McCarthy said. "This grant will ensure Franklin Square's firefighters will be prepared for any scenario they may face."
McCarthy also praised the department's proposal to allow firefighters from neighboring communities use the MTU.
The MTU will be an effective alternative for local firefighters who cannot attend classes at the area fire-training academy, which only offers courses on weekdays. Volunteer firefighters are often unable to attend academy courses because of weekday jobs and other personal obligations.
The Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant program awards one-year grants directly to local fire departments, enhancing their abilities to respond to fire and fire-related hazards in their communities. In 2004 there are three program areas supported through the Assistance to Firefighter Grants:
* Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety Program. Includes training, wellness and fitness, firefighting equipment, personal protective equipment, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.
* Fire Prevention Program. Includes public education and awareness activities, fire codes enforcement activities, fire inspector certifications, purchase and installation of smoke alarms and fire suppression systems, wildland fire mitigation, and arson prevention and detection activities.
* Firefighting Vehicles Acquisition Program. Includes pumpers, brush trucks, tankers, rescue, ambulances, quints, aerials, foam units, and fireboats.
For the 2004 program, Congress appropriated, and President Bush signed into law, $750 million in direct assistance in support of the nation's firefighters and the services they deliver. This year the Department of Homeland Security expects to award approximately 8,000 fire departments Assistance to Firefighters grants. For more information regarding the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, please visit www.firegrantsupport.gov