The Alton Fire Department may be able to buy some new life-saving pieces of equipment if it is lucky enough to be awarded a federal grant. The city's fire chief is applying for a FEMA / DHS Assistance to Firefighters grant that would help pay for 29 self contained breathing apparatus devices.
The existing devices are about 15 years old, and are routinely checked and maintained, according to Fire Chief Bernie Sebold. He tells The Big Z the new units contain new technology that could help locate a firefighter in danger.
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The grant required a 10% match, so if the department receives the grant, the cost to Alton would be $23,600 which would be paid for out of the 2016-2017 Fire Department budget. Sebold says it will likely be August or September when they find out if they have been awarded the grant.