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Published: Sunday, 12/21/2008

Frenchtown Township firefighters get $161,214 grant for gear


MONROE - The Frenchtown Township Fire Department has been awarded a $161,214 federal grant that will pay for new equipment, according to the office of U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D., Dearborn).

The funds, which will come from a Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant, will buy 23 self-contained breathing apparatus units with a spare bottle for each, nine sets of structural firefighting gear, and new helmets, hoods, gloves, and boots for each of Frenchtown's 35 firefighters. The grant money also will pay for six cold-weather ice rescue suits.

The grant is made available to pay for the replacement of outdated equipment, training, programs for wellness and fitness, and improvements to stations and facilities.

A condition of the grant is that the township pay an amount equal to 10 percent of the awarded funds. This will bring the total expenditure for new equipment to $179,127, said Ron Hoskins, the firefighter who wrote the grant application.

"The money will be available to us in about three weeks, then we'll solicit bids for the equipment," Mr. Hoskins said Saturday night.

In a written statement yesterday from Mr. Dingell's office, Frenchtown Township Fire Chief James Grahek expressed his appreciation for Mr. Dingell's assistance in securing the grant.

"Our firefighters can be more confident, and the people we protect can also take additional comfort knowing we've done everything we can to get our men and women ready for anything. We approached the congressman for this help, and I can't thank him enough for all his efforts."

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