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New Jersey Fire Department to Replace 10-Year Old Breathing Mechanisms

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Release date: 
July 31, 2014
Release Number: 
DR-PR 007

Federal Grant Provides Upgraded Gear to Irvington Township

New York, NY, July 31, 2014 – Irvington Township will receive 28 self-contained breathing apparatuses to replace outdated equipment that no longer meets National Fire Protection Association standards, and for which maintenance and upkeep costs have been estimated as high as $40,000 annually. 

The preponderance of the funding for the new equipment will come from the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), a unit of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  AFG will contribute $157,878, while the local share amounts to $17,542.

The announcement was made here today by Dale McShine, Grants Director for FEMA, Region II.

“Our training dictates that we must preserve all that is valuable in this community, which means ensuring that we can trust our equipment,” says Deputy Fire Chief Randy Wuest.  He went on to say that “between 2010 and 2012 the department worked an average of 250 structural fires a year – almost three fires every four days, and we depend on this equipment in every one of these incidents.”

Among other features, the new breathing equipment will enable individual Township firefighters to read displays of remaining breathing air, explains Chief Wuest.  He points out also that the new equipment will save the department a considerable amount in maintenance costs.

Serving some 54,000 residents, the Irvington Township Fire Department currently employs 114 full-time career firefighters who work 24-hours on, 72-hours off shifts.  The department has three stations and staffs four engine companies and two ladder companies at all times.

“We are very appreciative of the grant provided to the Township of Irvington by the AFG,” said Mayor Tony Vauss.  “The safety of our firefighters and our citizens is of the utmost importance to us.  These funds will go a long way in promoting this goal.”

FEMA’s AFG program has been aiding firefighters and other first responders since 2001.  “The program provides critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards, said Tania Hedlund, FEMA’s Grants Branch Chief.  In 2012, the AFG provided funding of $25,340,000 for FEMA’s Region II (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands).

For further information, please contact William H. Douglass at FEMA:  212-680-3665 or 917-561-3223.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.


Last Updated: 
August 6, 2014 - 16:16
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