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Ogdensburg Fire Department applies for a $59,000 FEMA grant for equipment

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The Ogdensburg Fire Department has applied for a $59,516 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for replacement equipment.

Chief Michael J. Farrell said Tuesday he submitted the application for funding from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters program and expects a decision in early 2014.

The program is 95 percent-5 percent, meaning that FEMA would contribute $56,454, and the fire department would be responsible for $2,971.

If the application is approved, the fire department would purchase 30 personal escape rope systems for $19,350, one for each firefighter for burning building emergencies.

The department has its own self-assembled ones.

“It’s mandatory,” Mr. Farrell said. “We need something that’s put together in one piece by a company.”

Other equipment to be purchased includes five sets of turnout gear for $14,875 which consists of coats, pants, helmets and boots that must be replaced because of wear and tear every 10 years; seven dive suits for $5,950, replacing ones that are 13 years old and, Mr. Farrell said, “way past retirement.”

The department also plans to buy a water rescue boat for $5,050 to replace the current vessel that has been in use since 1998, and two treadmills at $1,500 apiece covered by the grant’s wellness and fitness component. The grant will also pay for training at the state firefighting school in Montour Falls for two new firefighters. Mr. Farrell said two current firefighters will be eligible for retirement in 2014.

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