Kenai Fire Department receives federal grant for equipment

Posted: Tuesday, January 08, 2002

KENAI (AP) -- The Kenai Fire Department will receive $82,800 from the federal government to obtain new personal protective gear for firefighters.

The grant comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to purchase 16 new personal breathing apparatuses and 32 new portable oxygen tanks that are used for entering smoke-filled buildings.

''We felt pretty fortunate to get what we got,'' said Kenai Fire Chief Scott Walden.

He said older models now on hand would soon become outdated.

''The older models have an obsolescent life span of about 15 years,'' Walden said. ''The new ones are built of a carbon fiber material that doesn't corrode.''

The grant is part of the $100 million Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement Act used to purchase volumes of items fire departments would not otherwise be able to purchase. Authorized in 2000 by Congress, the grants were awarded to more than 1,850 rural, urban and suburban fire departments.

Walden said the federal grants will be matched with a 10 percent local contribution.

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