Aug. 9—PLAINS TWP. — U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright has announced an Assistance to Firefighters Grant to help Plains Township meet its firefighting needs.
Plains Township Fire Department, that protects some 15,000 residents, has been awarded a grant totaling $93,104.76 to purchase source capture diesel fume extraction systems for both fire houses.
"This funding will help ensure the brave men and women, that serve and protect our communities, have this critical layer of protection and are safe at their place of work," said Rep. Cartwright, D-Moosic, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. "I congratulate Fire Chief Mark Ritsick for his work in obtaining this grant."
"We are very happy to receive this federal funding, it's been a long time coming and we are grateful for it," said Fire Chief Ritsick. "This grant and the diesel exhaust removal system will directly improve the health and safety of our firefighters by reducing exposure. Plains Township Fire Department is committed to the health and safety of our members. The reduction of exposure to carcinogens significantly aids in that effort."
This grant will be awarded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) and will be distributed via the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The purpose of FEMA's AFG program is to award competitive grants directly to fire departments to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel. Since 2001, the AFG program has provided almost $10 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training.