Wyden, Merkley: More than $465,000 to Go to Rural Firefighters and First Responders

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon fire districts have earned a combined more than $465,000 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. “These brave firefighters deserve the equipment and training they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities and keep our friends, neighbors, and loved ones safe.

“Firefighters are better able to keep Oregonians safe when they get the training and equipment they need,” Merkley said. “This grant provides rural fire departments critical funding that will not only benefit their operational needs, but also will benefit the communities they courageously serve. I will continue to support our firefighters in every corner of the state and ensure the safety of Oregon families.”

AFG grants help firefighters and first responders obtain essential resources needed to protect themselves and others, such as firefighting and EMS equipment, personal protective equipment, fire and EMS vehicles, training, wellness and fitness programs, and facilities modifications. The AFG Program is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Oregon communities receiving these grants are as follows: 

·       Hamlet Rural Fire Protection District, Seaside: $44,761.90

·       City of Coos Bay, Coos Bay: $58,095.24

·       North Lincoln Fire Rescue District 1, Lincoln City: $76,190.48

·       Cloverdale Rural Fire Protection District, Sisters: $77,142.86

·       Hoodland Fire District #74, Welches: $209,902.95

 This federal grant program has been essential for us and fire service agencies across our nation. Each year the fire department is challenged to do more with less and the costs of equipment and staffing seems to be outpacing our regular funding sources,” said Mark Anderson, Fire Chief of the Coos Bay Fire Department. “The AFG grant allows us to replace obsolete equipment and conduct training that otherwise would be unavailable. The funding that we have received from this grant has provided communication and safety equipment that allow our staff to focus on improving service to our community. We believe that this FEMA AFG program has been invaluable to the fire service and we are thankful to those that have promoted the program.”