March 08, 2005

Winchester To Receive Fire Funds

Crapo applauds successful grant application

Washington, DC â?? The Winchester, Idaho volunteer fire department will receive $22,500 in a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, who was notified of the grant today.. â??The addition of one firefighting vehicle made possible by this grant will enhance the Winchester Fire Departmentâ??s ability to respond more effectively to fire and fire-related hazards in Winchester and the surrounding area,â?? said Crapo. â??The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program has received an additional $390 million for Fiscal Year 2003. These ongoing grant awards, which will be announced on a weekly basis for the next year or so, will substantially increase the effectiveness of firefighting efforts, and augment EMS and safety and fire prevention programs throughout the nation. I look forward to learning of more Idaho communities who will benefit from these funds.â??â??Many rural fire departments in Idaho struggle to provide comprehensive services to the communities they serve, and federal funds fill in the financial gaps,â?? noted Crapo. â??Winchester, like many others, will benefit significantly from federal grant programs such as this one.â??In 2003, there are four programs supported by the Assistance to Firefighter Grant, including the Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety Program, the Fire Prevention Program, the Emergency Medical Services Program, and the Firefighting Vehicles Acquisition Program. According to the Department of Homeland Security, funding priorities for each of the activities were based on recommendations from nine major fire service organizations. The applications were peer-reviewed for compatibility with funding priorities, with selections completed by early last month.The Department of Homeland Security required applicants to demonstrate financial need, and outline the benefits that would be gained if given the money. Grantees who serve jurisdictions of 50,000 or fewer residents are required to provide a cost-share of 10 percent, and grantees serving jurisdictions of more than 50,000 must provide a 30 percent cost-share. Approximately $20 million has been awarded to fire departments nationwide under this program in the past two weeks.# # #