Denver, CO - Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, announced today the third round of what will ultimately total approximately 7,000 grants worth $750 million in direct assistance to firefighters from the 2003 Assistance to Firefighter Grant program. Included in the announcement were awards for four Montana communities, including Fort Benton, Twin Bridges, Butte and Lewistown.
"Through this grant process, Homeland Security is providing much needed resources to hundreds of fire departments across the country," said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. "This process will continue throughout the year as we continue on our commitment to assisting our nation's first responders."
This third round of grants provides more than $7 million to help local fire departments fund the purchase of firefighting equipment, fund firefighter health and safety programs, enhance emergency medical services programs, and conduct fire prevention and safety programs. In the past three weeks, nearly 500 departments have received more than $27 million dollars to support their role as first responders in the neighborhoods and communities they serve.
"It's critical for the readiness of our first responders that we invest in our nation's firefighters through grants, training and operational support," said Under Secretary Brown. "Responding safely and effectively to emergencies is central to our department's mission, and ensuring our firefighters are trained and properly equipped goes hand-in-hand with that mission"
Grants have been made available to the following fire departments in Montana:
- Butte-$34,448 for fire operations and firefighter safety to the Home Atherton Volunteer Fire Department
- Fort Benton-$35,794 for a firefighting vehicle to the Elim Rural Fire Company
- Lewistown-$5,930 for fire operations and firefighter safety to the Beaver Creek/Cottonwood Creek Rural Fire District.
- Twin Bridges-$144,000 for a firefighting vehicle to the Twin Bridges Volunteer Fire Department
The Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program is administered by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The program assists rural, urban and suburban fire departments throughout the United States. A list of all current award recipients announced to date is posted on the USFA web site at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/grants. Future grant recipients will be listed as awards are made.