A total of $892,096 in federal grants were announced Wednesday for three Louisiana fire departments.
Officials say these grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program and will assist in improving operations and safety at the Opelousas and Springhill fire departments, and to aid in the purchase of a ladder truck for the Ville Platte Fire Department.
Senator Bill Cassidy, announced the grants Wednesday for the departments. His team says they sent letters to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security advocating for Louisiana fire departments applying for these grants.
“Firefighters risk their lives to save others and because of this funding, more of these brave men and women will have better equipment, improving their safety and effectiveness as they do their jobs and serve our communities,” said Dr. Cassidy. “The Ville Platte Fire Department has needed a new ladder truck and I’m happy to announce they will receive it soon.”
The AFG grants were awarded to the following departments:
- $658,048: Ville Platte Fire Department (Ville Platte)
- $145,667: Opelousas Fire Department (Opelousas)
- $88,381: Springhill Fire District #11 (Springhill)
Officials say the Ville Platte Fire Department plans to use the funds to replace their 36-year-old ladder truck that has become unreliable. A new truck will greatly improve their ability to respond to emergencies.
The Opelousas Fire Department plans to purchase 40 P25 portable radios and eighteen P25 mobile radios. The department currently uses radios that are not compatible with the Louisiana Interoperability Communications Plan.
The Springhill Fire District #11 currently has 38 firefighters, but only six sets of complete, matching NFPA compliant personal protective equipment (PPE). With this grant, they will be able to properly outfit all of their firefighters to ensure their safety.