Stockton Fire Department Approved for $1 Million Grant | Community
The Stockton Fire Department has been awarded a $1 million FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to fund the purchase of two new fire engines. These engines are in addition to the four new engines that the City approved last year, which will be delivered and placed into service by May. The FEMA grant-funded engines will need to be constructed in a factory, which takes approximately six months from the date of order. It is anticipated that the engines will replace old engines in the fleet by fall of 2013.
“This grant allows the Stockton Fire Department to begin the transition of providing contemporary fire and emergency medical services to the community,” said Chief Jeff Piechura. “This grant fills an immediate fire engine need that replaces antiquated and high maintenance cost vehicles, while saving the City up to $800,000.”
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) was created by Congress to equip, train and prepare America's fire services to respond to the growing complexities of serving communities and responding to large scale natural or manmade disasters. In order to qualify for the AFG, a fire department must meet the essential criteria established by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Due to the City’s fiscal crisis, limited funds are available to replace the City’s aged, unreliable and maintenance-intensive fire service fleet.
Chief Piechura has plans for additional changes within the Stockton Fire Department that will make more effective use of personnel and fire service vehicles. “This grant also sets the stage for evolving the way the fire department responds to calls for help. Within the next 18 months, the Stockton Fire Department will begin providing medical call services from smaller, more agile and lower cost vehicles that do not need the additional firefighters who are paramedics or medical technicians, such as minor injuries, illnesses and need for assistance. Stockton Fire Department once used this approach with tremendous results, and now we will reintroduce an updated version to enhance the services provided today. The Stockton Fire Department will be constantly evaluating the needs of the Community and smartly adapting the way we respond to the changing Community we serve."
The grant requires the City to contribute 20 percent, or $200,000, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency AFG program will provide an additional $800,000 in funding. The City will allocate the $200,000 in matching funds from a fund established for replacement of vehicles.
Source: City of Stockton