Flint firefighters awarded federal grant to replace gear - WNEM TV 5

Flint firefighters awarded federal grant to replace gear

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Flint’s Fire Department is getting more than $200,000 to replace old firefighting equipment and protective gear.

The federal grant is through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program and will funnel $267,069 to the department to support public safety efforts.

It will enable the fire department to replace obsolete Personal Protective Equipment with new equipment that brings the department into compliance with standards set by the National Fire Protection Agency.

“With the completion of the Fire Training Academy, the timing of this award is perfect,” said Flint Fire Chief Raymond Barton. “This safety equipment is much needed and will help adequately outfit our firefighters and will allow us to open Station 8 on Atherton Road fully staffed and equipped."

Jerry Sisovsky, firefighter, has been fighting fires in Flint for decades. He said every time they go to a fire their gear deteriorates to some degree.

"When our gear breaks down more and more, it allows more cancer causing agents coming into our akin and our pours," Sisovsky said.

Carrie Edwards, Flint fire official, helped the city get the grant.

"We are extremely excited. We are trying to make our firefighters safe so they can better protect our community," Edwards said.

She said the department will also get new oxygen masks and tanks. That will reduce the amount of toxins firefighters inhale when putting out fires.

Edwards said they are working on getting even more updated gear in the future.

"We are going to try and get new trucks. We need new trucks. We need new vehicles. We are going to try to get everything new gear," Edwards said.

Edwards said in the last year Flint firefighters responded to more than 800 fires or hazardous related incidents.

Nearly 75 percent of the Flint Fire Department's oxygen tanks were purchased in 2004, making them 13 years old.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver issued this response:

"This is wonderful news for the citizens and the City of Flint," Mayor Karen Weaver stated. "We appreciate Senators Stabenow and Peters, as well as Congressman Kildee and our State Representatives for their help and support to make this happen.”

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) had this to say on the announcement:

“I am pleased to announce this federal grant to support Flint’s Fire Department and help promote public safety,” Congressman Kildee said. “These resources will help the Flint Fire Department remain prepared to respond to emergencies and ensure that our firefighters have the necessary protective gear to keep them safe. The men and women of the Flint Fire Department deserve our praise for their hard work and dedication and I look forward to continuing to work with them to promote public safety.” 

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