The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 15, 2014

Federal funds will help protect Conneaut FFs

CONNEAUT — Federal dollars will help clad many Conneaut firefighters in the latest protective gear, a city fire department spokesman said Monday.

The department plans to spend $48,579 obtained through a special firefighter assistance program on 21 sets of turnout gear, a special suit of fire-resistant clothing. The money comes courtesy a special program within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. The local department applied for the funding and recently learned its request was accepted, the spokesman said.

Conneaut will pay 5 percent of the tab, about $2,556, said City Manager Tim Eggleston.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announced the award in an email.

“Firefighters put their lives on the line each day to keep our communities safe,” Brown said in the statement. “These new federal resources will help ensure that Conneaut’s skilled responders have the updated resources they need to safely do their jobs.”

The money will help update gear worn by firefighters at stations 1 and 3. Ideally, turnout gear should be retired after 10 years, officials said. Only six sets of gear used by city firefighters meet standards, officials said.

The federal program allows funds to be spent for “training, facility upgrades and modifications and supplies such as protective equipment,” according to the statement. “The Assistance to Firefighters Grants program helps firefighters and other first responders improve their ability to protect the public and themselves,” according to the statement.

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