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Hutchinson Volunteer Fire Department awarded $34,200 grant

Joe Napsha
| Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 4:53 p.m.

The Hutchinson Volunteer Fire Department in Sewickley Township plans to use a $34,200 federal grant plus $1,800 in fire department funds to purchase $36,000 worth of firefighters' protective gear and equipment to extricate occupants trapped in a vehicle, a Hutchinson fire official said.

“We're very excited. We just started the process of meeting with vendors,” and hope to get the equipment in the fall, said Christen Bacha, vice president of the Hutchinson fire department.

The fire department intends to order firefighters extrication gear – jumpsuit, helmet, vest, gloves and boots – for 12 firefighters, plus air bags and a tool to roll back a vehicle's dashboard, Bacha said. The fire department has about 25 active firefighters, Bacha said.

The grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant program requires the recipients to pay for five percent of the costs of the equipment and supplies, Bacha said. The local matching funds will come from money collected through fundraising events, Bacha said.

The primary goal of the firefighters assistance grant is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and emergency medical service organizations, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Bacha said she applied for the money last summer and anticipates requesting the money this fall, once the equipment is ordered.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jnapsha@tribweb.com or 724-836-5252.

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