The grant was awarded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The primary goal of the program is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and other emergency medical service organizations.
Since 2001, grants awarded through the program have helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
Newton’s grant will be used to pay for a new air refilling station that will allow firefighters to refill the air tanks they wear when they enter burning buildings. The air refilling station currently used by the fire department is more than 15 years old. The new refilling station will have a much larger capacity than the old station.
“When firefighters go into a burning building, they have to have clean air,” Newton Fire Chief Kevin Yoder said. “This is beneficial equipment that will serve the Newton Fire Department for 15 to 20 years.”
“I commend the fire department for the hard work they’re doing to aggressively apply for and receive these grants,” Newton Mayor Anne P. Stedman said. “It’s a very competitive process.”
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant will cover 90 percent of the cost of the new equipment. The remaining 10 percent of the cost will be paid with local funds.