JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the Powers Volunteer Fire Department
Powers Volunteer Fire Department in Jones County, Mississippi has been awarded a FEMA FY2016 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) fire operations grant to purchase new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The department will receive $70,343.00 in federal funding which will be matched by the department with $3,517.00 in local funds to purchase twelve (12) new National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) compliant SCBA for deployment on Powers Engine 1, Heavy Rescue, Brush 1 and Tanker 1. "We are excited to have been awarded a FEMA AFG fire operations grant to purchase new SCBA for our volunteer firefighters to use during incident responses," notes Powers Fire Chief Joey Davis. He adds, "The FEMA AFG grant program is incredibly competitive on a national basis and we cannot say thanks enough to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo for their written letters of support for our project."
Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) must meet strenuous National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards which are designed to protect firefighters from the dangers associated with structural firefighting. Intense heat, smoke and poisonous gases, which are commonplace in fire service structural firefighting responses, make having reliable and rugged SCBA units an absolute necessity. Powers Volunteer Fire Department requested twelve SCBA on the grant application and all twelve were approved for purchase by FEMA. The department has already begun evaluating SCBA units from several potential suppliers in order to become familiar with unit features, warranty periods, serviceability and pricing. Procurement of the units will follow state purchasing guidelines in order to ensure the best value for the department.
"We ask our volunteer firefighters to put their lives and their families futures on the line with each and every incident response," advises Powers Assistant Chief Jeffery Fountain. He adds, "We owe it to them, their families and to the residents whose lives they are trying to save to provide them with the most up-to-date, safe and reliable equipment that we can afford to help them get the job done". Powers President & Treasurer Ed Ritchey concludes, "We could not have afforded to purchase new SCBA given our local funding level without the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) grant being awarded to our department. We are thankful to FEMA for this grant award which will undoubtedly make our volunteer firefighters and the citizens we serve much safer."