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PARMA, OHIO – The Parma Fire Department will be notified Friday that it is the recipient of a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The $28,927 grant comes from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program (AFG) and is co-sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.
Parma’s grant is in the Operations and Safety category. According to Parma Fire Chief John French, the money will be used to purchase high visibility outerwear for Parma firefighters. The gear meets the latest national standards for day and night visibility as well as blood-borne pathogen standards. “In simple terms,” Chief French says, “it provides a higher level of safety for our responders in that they are less likely to be struck by a passing vehicle and less likely to be contaminated by blood or body fluids.”
Mayor Tim DeGeeter called the award a “win-win” because the city has to provide this kind of safety gear anyway, and using this grant money for it means the city bears only 20% of the original cost.
“You can’t put a price on the safety of our firefighters and our residents,” DeGeeter said. “This safety equipment is necessary, and we are grateful for this grant, which is a win for the City and for the taxpayers.”
The AFG program awards grants directly to fire departments and EMS organizations that are unaffiliated with a hospital to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel.
“With our unit responses totaling around 14,000 per year, we really have to do whatever we can to prevent accidents and injuries to our personnel,” said Chief French. “One critical injury to a responder could easily cost the City well over the total cost for this project.”
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