Denton, TX - Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, announced 189 grants to fire departments throughout the U.S. in the fifteenth round of the 2003 Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The grants will ultimately total approximately 7,000 awards worth $750 million in direct assistance to firefighters. Included in the announcement of this latest round were awards for three communities in Oklahoma, including grants to Beggs, Wilburton, and Lawton.
"As the East coast prepares for Hurricane Isabel, Homeland Security through FEMA continues to meet its all-hazards mission by getting these critical funds directly to first responders and the communities they serve," said Under Secretary Brown. "We anticipate that America's firefighters will once again be responding to storm-related emergencies for millions of people. To support our first responders, President Bush, Secretary Ridge and I remain committed to funding their efforts to save lives and property."
This fifteenth round of grants provides $12.6 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.
Grants have been made available to the following fire departments in Oklahoma:
- Beggs Volunteer Fire Department, Beggs - Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety ($63,117).
- Higgins Fire Department Association, Wilburton - Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety ($8,550)
- Lawton Fire Department, Lawton - Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety ($57,274)
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), administers the Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program. 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.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.