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City applies for fire-fighting equipment grant

Ashland Fire and Rescue is applying for several grants totaling of more than $1.1 million to buy new emergency and fire equipment, including a ladder truck.

The additional equipment and technology is essential to the department, Fire Chief Mike D’Orazi told the council at a meeting on March 20.

“The new truck will reach the roofs of some higher buildings, which are all over the city — in downtown, local hotels, motels, in the historic district,” he said. “My worst fear is when we get to a building with somebody stuck in the third floor, and we can’t reach them.”

According to staff report, the city has applied for the 2017 FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant and the Fire Prevention and Safety Grant for a total of $1.1 million for three different projects.

A “quint-style” (serving five functions: pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device, and ground ladders) aerial apparatus would cost $925,000. The department also plans to purchase three new powered ambulance gurneys and three compatible load, lift and restraint systems for a total of $160,000. The purchase and installation of connections on buildings with fire sprinklers is estimated at $60,000.

The grants, funded by Department of Homeland Security, are designated for departments to “acquire equipment, personnel, and training that they would otherwise not be able to fund,” according to D’Orazi.

Councilor Mike Morris asked at the meeting whether the fire department will need more staff to operate and maintain addition equipment.

“We would just need more training,” D’Orazi said. “And we have staff internally that would help with the training.”

If the grant is approved, the city is required to come up with a 10 percent match to the grant, he said. Awards are scheduled to be announced in the summer, according to the grants’ guide.

—Reach reporter Tran Nguyen at 541-776-4485 or tnguyen@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on twitter @nguyenntrann.