Wyden, Merkley: More than $100,000 to Oregon for Firefighter Equipment and Training

Washington, D.C. –
U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that three Oregon fire
districts will receive a combined nearly $100,000 in federal Assistance to
Firefighters Grants (AFG).

“Every day,
firefighters in local fire districts—both union and volunteer—put their lives
on the line to protect our communities in Oregon,” Wyden said. “Local firefighters have been on the
front lines of fire season this year and every year. They deserve the equipment
and training to do their jobs to the best of their abilities so that our
friends, neighbors, and loved ones can continue to stay safe.”

firefighters work tirelessly, risking their lives to keep our homes and
communities safe. It is crucial for local fire districts to have the resources
they need,” Merkley said.  “This
funding will ensure that the dedicated firefighters in Coos Bay, Siletz, and
Sheridan are well equipped and prepared to keep protecting the Oregonians they

AFG grants help firefighters and first responders obtain
essential resources to enhance their response capabilities and to more
effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response
personnel from fire and other related hazards. The Oregon communities receiving
these grants are as follows:

  • City of Coos Bay – $32,380
  • Siletz Rural Fire Protection District – $34,238
  • Sheridan Fire District – $35,238

“Without this
support, many communities – including Coos Bay – would be forced to utilize
tools that are obsolete. Coos Bay Fire Department will replace our outdated
Thermal Imaging Cameras (TIC). These TICs allow firefighters to see through
smoke and low light environments to find hot spots or even victims by using the
temperature differences to create a picture. The firefighters of Coos Bay are
keenly aware of the value of this tool since it was 20 years ago (November 25,
2002) that three Coos Bay firefighters were killed in a fire. The following
investigation revealed that having Thermal Imaging Cameras may likely have
prevented this tragedy.  The FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant program
is a vital partnership with our nation’s fire service agencies; providing the
support needed to serve their communities. I would like to thank Senators Ron
Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as our other elected officials that have fought
to continue funding this important FEMA grant,” said Mark R.
Anderson, Fire Chief Coos Bay Fire Department