The Kenai Fire Department has been awarded a Department of Homeland Security $61,513 grant according to an announcement by Alaska’s congressional delegation.
Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young said the grant was among grants totaling nearly $67 million released by federal agencies in the past two weeks.
Speaking as acting Kenai city manager, Police Chief Chuck Kopp said the money has been earmarked for health and fitness equipment for the firefighters.
“The grant is for (fitness) monitoring, screening and reporting equipment as well as physical fitness (exercise) equipment,” Kopp said.
“Our public safety employees, especially firefighters, have numerous (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) physical fitness requirements particularly involving their work in hazardous environments,” he said.
The equipment will help firefighters stay fit and help them monitor their level of physical fitness, according to Kopp.
Included in the fitness equipment will be several pieces of Smith equipment, which is designed to allow people to lift free weights without the assistance of a spotter to help them lower the weight if need be.
Kopp said the need to work out alone arises because firefighters often are on duty in small numbers, particularly at night.
Firefighters also will be getting a treadmill with the grant money.
Kopp said the exercise equipment will be housed at the Kenai Airport public safety facility.
Kenai Fire Chief Mike Tilly was unavailable to comment on the grant.
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