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Elizabeth Township VFD to get $114,000 for equipment

ELIZABETH TOWNSHIP — Elizabeth Township Volunteer Fire Department is getting a $114,095 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The announcement was made Thursday by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s office.

Elizabeth is one of two fire departments in southeast Ohio to get such a grant.

Fire Chief Dale Waugh said the money will be used for roughly a dozen new firefighter air packs, a compressor system to fill the air packs, a thermal imaging camera, spare air bottles and other miscellaneous items.

“This is great because it’s something we haven’t been able to do (on our own). We bought a few air packs but some are from back in the ‘70s and ‘80s. A lot of them still have the old steel bottles,” Waugh said. “The new ones will be fiberglass and should weigh about a third, maybe a fourth of what the steel bottles weigh.” And we should get 40 minutes of air time instead of 20 minutes.”

AFG grants target fire departments and EMS organizations that are unaffiliated with hospitals to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public and first-responder personnel.

“Our first responders put their lives on the line every day across Ohio,” Brown said. “These funds ensure that firefighters in southeast Ohio have the resources they need to perform their jobs safely.”

According to FEMA, the Assistance to Firefighter Grants are used to help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

Since 2001, nearly $4 billion in grant money has been awarded to first responder organizations.

The other southeast Ohio agency to get a grant was the Nelsonville Fire Department in Athens.