ALTON - The Alton Fire Department is pleased to announce that it has been awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) in the amount of $108,182 from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) / Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the purchase of sixteen (16) self- contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), and two (2) Rapid intervention (RIT) packs.

The department heads of the City of Alton are continuously looking for alternate sources of funding for projects in the City. With fiduciary responsibility we strive to improve our community in the most effective and efficient ways possible, stated Mayor Brant Walker.

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The total cost of the project is $119,000. DHS will contribute $108,182 and the City of Alton is responsible for $10,818. The new SCBA, commonly referred to as air packs, will be replacing units that were purchased around 2001 and no longer meet current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

SCBA are a vital piece of a firefighter’s personal protective equipment ensemble. SCBA protect the firefighter’s respiratory tract by supplying clean air to their lungs so that they can enter into a smoke filled building to extinguish a fire, or stop a chemical leak at a hazardous materials incident. I am thankful that DHS viewed our grant application worthy of award, without this funding the Alton Fire Department would not have been able to replace this many SCBA at one time, stated Fire Chief Bernie Sebold.

The specification for the SCBA will be developed by the Fire Department and a request for proposal will be distributed by Comptroller Cowan’s office. The Fire Department should have the new SCBA in service by January 2017.

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