The Sanford Fire Department has been awarded $338,176.19 through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), which focuses on enhancing the safety of firefighters and the communities they serve.
AFG funds are earmarked for emergency response needs. Needs could include protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other critical resources necessary to protect the public and emergency personnel.
The Sanford Fire Department applied for AFG funding to assist with replacing the department’s aging Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), known more commonly as air packs. “Air packs are absolutely critical to our ability to protect our residents while also keeping our firefighters safe,” says Fire Chief Matthew Arnold.
“We are honored to have received this grant, which not only helps us to replace our equipment but also alleviates some of the cost burden that would otherwise fall on our City budget,” Arnold says.
As a condition of the grant, the City of Sanford must contribute at least 5% of the award amount, or $16,908.81 – this brings the total budget for air packs to $355,085. “We anticipate being able to replace approximately 40 air packs,” Arnold says.
The Assistance to Firefighters grant is an annual, highly competitive process. Thus far in the 2022 grant cycle, the Sanford Fire Department has received the largest funding amount in North Carolina.