PA Representative Matt Cartwright, Public Meeting, Municipal Building, Rush Township (18) File Photo/Congressman Matt Cartwright

PRESS RELEASE – Today (Wednesday, August 19, 2015), U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to six fire companies throughout Carbon and Schuylkill Counties.  The funds will be distributed via the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The New Columbus Fire Company is serving as the host of a regional application on behalf of various other Carbon and Schuylkill County fire companies.  The $434,286 grant will enable the purchase of 76 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), a device worn by firefighters to provide breathable air.  The SCBAs will be distributed to the following fire companies:
•Diligent Fire Company No. 3, Jim Thorpe, Carbon County
•Fairview Hose Company No. 2, Jim Thorpe, Carbon County
•Hauto Volunteer Fire Company, Nesquehoning, Carbon County
•Hometown Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, Tamaqua, Schuylkill County
•Nesquehoning Hose Company No. 1, Nesquehoning, Carbon County
•New Columbus Fire Company, Inc. , Nesquehoning, Carbon County

“Congratulations to each of these six fire companies operating in Carbon and Schuylkill Counties.  The region, often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Poconos,’ sees thousands of tourists annually on their way to the Poconos, and it is imperative that we ensure the safety of those brave volunteer firefighters that put their lives on the line to protect us every day,” Rep. Cartwright said, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.

The purpose of the AFG is to award competitive grants directly to fire departments to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel.  Since 2001, the AFG program has provided approximately $6.1 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training.

During the current funding cycle, the AFG program will award $304.5 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.

Click HERE to view the official press release.


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