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Danbury Fire Department applying for two federal grants

The Danbury Fire Department is applying for two federal grants.  One is to purchase personal protective equipment for pandemic response.  The overall grant is $8,000, but does require a 10-percent share paid for by the City.  The federal grant, if awarded, would be $7,200. 

The other grant is to purchase equipment for every day operations.  The $400,000 grant requires the City to chip in 10-percent, with Danbury's share not to exceed $40,000.  The local match is available in the Fire Department's operation and capital budgets. 

The Fire Department is looking to purchase a compressor to fill SCBA air containers that firefighters wear when they enter a burning building.  Interim Fire Chief Kevin Ford says they're switching to a new SCBA system.  The older compressor is on its last legs.  If it was to fail, there is no way to fill the current bottles.  The new compressor has an OSHA requirement feature.  Every time a container is filled, it has to be logged as maintenance.  This does the recording automatically, and can complete a test required every 5 years.  The compressor is about $100,000. 

The bulk of the money would go to new extrication tools.  Newer cars have hardened steel cages that older Jaws of Life tools can't pierce through.  The new Jaws of Life doesn't don't require a hose connected to a hydraulic generator because it's battery operated, giving emergency responders more mobility. 

If there's grant money left over, Ford says they plan to buy racks for SCBA to store them in their apparatus and some parts to do maintenance.

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