Thorsby Fire Department receives $149,000 grant

Published 11:09 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016


The Thorsby Fire Department has been awarded a $149,600 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to replace self-contained breathing apparatuses.

According to, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant is given by FEMA to “enhance the safety of the public and firefighters” by giving financial assistance “for critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel.”

The TFD believed it was in need of a grant. It had been using the same masks for more than 13 years. According to TFD’s fire chief, Lee Gunn, the masks only have a 15-year lifespan. The grant came just in time to save the city having to pay to replace all the masks, or SCBAs.

“This is the biggest grant we’ve ever received from FEMA for equipment,” said Gunn. “There was a great team effort in preparing this grant.”

The department only had to match 5 percent of the grant, a cost of $7,123.

Gunn stressed the importance of the soon-to-be-replaced masks and how much wear and tear they go through during training and emergency incidents. The department serviced them yearly, but still time took its toll on the old masks, he said.

Now, the department can begin the process of sending off bids and replacing the masks with new ones. The new masks will be up to the latest safety standards, unlike the old ones, which were grandfathered in under previous standards.

“This grant provides our members with the newest SCBA technology available to deliver superior service to our community,” said Gunn. He estimated that the new masks would be purchased by the start of the new year, and hopes there is some money left over to buy additional equipment as well.