DOVER, Del. – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and U.S. Representative John Carney joined members of the Delaware State Fire School to announce a $234,600 grant from the federal Assistance to Firefighters program that will help the school purchase new and updated equipment. The funds will improve safety by allowing the school to replace protective “turnout gear” purchased more than 25 years ago.
“I am so grateful to the men and women who sacrifice their safety to save and protect our homes and loved ones from fire,” said Sen. Carper, Co-Chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “The best way to properly thank those who serve and protect us is to give them the tools and education they need. That is why I’m so happy to announce that this funding that is going toward new fire school gear, software and tools at the Delaware Fire School, where firefighters learn best practices to safely and effectively perform their duties.”
“I can't imagine we would send a firefighter into a fire with a broken Halligan tool, with a nozzle that didn't work, or a pumper that didn't pump” said Sen. Coons. “Why would we send these instructors into a controlled burn or an actual fire scene with equipment this out of date? The help of the Assistance of Firefighters Grant, ensures the equipment, the resources, the software and the bunker gear for the instructors at the Delaware State Fire School is the best it can possibly be.”
“The hallmark of Delaware first responders is their unfailing willingness to put the safety of others ahead of their own. Having joined many of them on ridealongs over the years, I know how dedicated they are to protecting those in our community,” said Congressman Carney, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “I also understand how important the right training and equipment is for their protection and the safety of all of us. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant announced today will help our first responders get the top-notch training and field experience they need to protect all of us. It’s an investment that will save lives and make all Delawareans safer.”
The Delaware State Fire School provides fire, rescue, emergency medical training, and public fire safety education to firefighters and rescue workers from Delaware and around the world. Delaware State Fire School educated 11,000 firefighters and 10,000 EMTs in 2013 and the school’s fire safety program reached over 20,000 members of the public.
The Delaware State Fire School will divvy the grant award as follows: $100,000 for turnout gear for the instructors that will replace gear purchased in 1988, $48,000 for portable radios, $38,000 for 27 tablet computers to replace desktop units, $35,000 for new projectors for 13 classrooms in Kent and New Castle County centers, $18,000 for fire command simulation software, and $5,000 for classroom polling devices. The Delaware State Fire School will pick up the remaining 15 percent of expenses.