On Sept. 17, theannounced that 224 fire departments across the United States would receive $10.5 million in grants in the ninth round of awards under the Assistance to Firefighters Program.
The funds from this round are to be used to establish wellness and fitness programs for firefighting personnel; buy firefighting equipment, including equipment for communications and monitoring; buy personal protective equipment and fund fire prevention programs.
"Last year 102 firefighters died in the line of duty," said FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh. "Modern equipment, active prevention programs, and personal wellness and fitness programs are critical in increasing firefighter effectiveness and lowering deaths and injuries. President Bush and I are pleased grants in this category will help fire departments buy this important lifesaving gear."
The total assistance provided to date has now reached $72.8 million. FEMA will distribute $100 million in grants through Sept. 30. Authorized last year by Congress, the grants will reach rural, urban and suburban fire departments.
The grant applications are being processed by the U.S. Fire Administration and reviewed by representatives from seven fire service organizations. In each case, the federal grants will be supplemented by local funds.
A list of all grant recipients to date is posted on the www.usfa.fema.gov/grants.web site at