Hillside's New Fire Truck
Every year fire department budgets are being cut because of economic hardships, which results in not being able to make certain purchases. For the last number of years, we have attempted to apply for federal grants to make these purchases. In those previous years, we were awarded FEMA grants for radios and self contained breathing apparatus. Last year Firefighter/Paramedic Ryan Wyckoff wrote and applied for a FEMA grant for a new Ladder Truck. We received notification January of this year that my application was accepted and we have been awarded $807,500.
Applying for a FEMA grant can be challenging. There are numerous questions and statistics that are asked within the on-line application. The first challenge is making the computerized cut, where FEMA puts your application through a computer screening and it can be rejected if any red flagged areas are detected. Those red flagged areas are predetermined for the grant being applied for, for instance, age of vehicle needing replacement has to be 20 years or older, number of calls it goes on, and population it benefits. If you don?t meet this, you will be denied. The final challenge is a peer review, where the application is reviewed by a panel of people. A strong narrative is usually what makes or breaks an application.
Without federal assistance, we would not have been able to afford a new ladder truck to replace our current 1985, non compliant ladder truck. This new ladder truck will benefit our community, as well as the surrounding communities. Our new ladder truck has a 105 foot aerial ladder, large water tank, hose, and rescue equipment. We are now able to do more with what we have than ever before. The new ladder truck will be delivered on June 10th. All equipment will be mounted and all of our personnel will be trained on it. We expect the ladder truck to be in full service by the end of the month.