Fire Department to receive FEMA grant

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published April 26, 2013

The St. Clair Shores Fire Department has received a $251,213 grant from the federal government to pay for badly needed new equipment.

Fire Chief George Morehouse said he applied for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in July 2012. The grant money will pay for seven monitor defibrillators carried by each of the department’s transporting units and fire engines, as well as exhaust extraction systems at each of the department’s three stations.

The city will have a 20 percent match for the grant, which City Council will have to approve within 30 days.

Morehouse said the monitor defibrillators are at the end of their life expectancy, and the company that makes the devices will no longer service them. The exhaust systems at each of the stations are all about 15 years old and were on their last leg, as well, he said. The department has spent $12,000 just in repair costs on the systems, and the cost of the new systems is $95,000.

“It’s more efficient; we can have the system designed for all three buildings,” Morehouse said. “That’ll make it more efficient, more economical.

“The capital expenditure was coming. There was no way around it. They’re not building the components for that exhaust emissions and they’re not going to be servicing those monitor defibrillators.”

Across the state, the Almont Fire Department, Huron Valley Ambulance, Leland Township Fire and Rescue Department, city of Manistee and the Raisin Township Fire Department also received grants through the program. In announcing the awards, Sen. Carl Levin, said the grants are vital to helping local departments.

“Our emergency first responders put their lives on the line every day to protect communities across the state, and I’m pleased that these grants will help them carry out their vital mission,” he said in a statement.