The Cumberland County Fire Department has been awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Department of Homeland Security. The grant will be used to replace the department’s self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The total grant amount is $628,771. The federal share of the award is $571,610 while the local match is only $57,161.
The County’s current SCBA are 15+ years old and are considered obsolete by FEMA standards. The SCBA is a vital part of the equipment for a firefighter. This respiratory protective equipment allows a firefighter to breath clean air when extinguishing fires and searching for victims in IDLH (immediately dangerous to life and health) environments. These environments include but are not limited to: Smoke; produced by building fires, vehicle fires, etc., Heat, Gasses such as carbon monoxide and flammable heating gasses, and fully encapsulated Level A chemical protection suits. Without SCBA firefighters would not be able to enter these environments to save life and property.
The County applies for these types of grants often to help reduce the burden on local taxpayers for purchase of these expensive but necessary pieces of equipment.