Hawkins fire receives grant

A round of federal funding earmarked for firefighters and other first responders will benefit a local fire department.

Hawkins Fire Department received the Assistance to Firefighters Grant to purchase personal protection equipment and to improve operations on Aug. 13.

The Hawkins Fire Department will receive $79,428 as its award. 

Doug van Doorn, the department’s secretary/grant writer, said the funds will go to replacing and upgrading Self Contained Breathing Apparatus equipment. 

Assistance to Firefighters Grants are awarded to fire departments, state fire training academies and emergency medical service organizations.

This is the second year in a row the department has received an AFG grant to help with updating personal protection equipment. Last year the department received a $36,428 AFG grant.

The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations in the United States.

The AFG program is one of three fire grant programs from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). AFG focuses on enhancing the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards. 

The fiscal year 2020 AFG Program helps with the activities of operations and safety, vehicle acquisition and regional projects.

The objectives of the AFG program are to provide critically needed resources that equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operational efficiencies, foster interoperability and support community resilience

The money is generated through two federal programs: the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and the Fire Prevention and Safety Grant Program.

AFG enhances public safety and firefighter safety by providing financial assistance for critical training and equipment directly to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated emergency medical service (EMS) organizations, and State Fire Training Academies (SFTAs)

In awarding grants, the FEMA Administrator is required to consider the following:

— The findings and recommendations of the Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP);

— The degree to which an award will reduce deaths, injuries, and property damage by reducing the risks associated with fire related and other hazards;

— The extent of an applicant’s need for an AFG Program grant and the need to protect the United States as a whole; and

— The number of calls requesting or requiring a firefighting or emergency medical response received by an applicant.

Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. 

Estimated Total Program Funding is $319,500,000 with 2,000 projected awards funded.

As of Aug. 27, 2021, FEMA has made 1,464 awards totaling $224.9 million.

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