The City of Negaunee, along with three other local municipalities fire departments have submitted a joint grant to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program (AFG), in the amount of $614,320. The grant will be submitted through the City of Negaunee and includes, the City of Marquette, Powell Township, and Chocolay Township.
According to the grant application the “Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program’s objective is to provide funding directly to fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations or a State Fire Training Academy for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of the public and first responder personnel against fire and fire-related hazards.”
The over half a million-dollar grant, if awarded, will fund the purchase of (80) Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), (92) spare oxygen tanks, and (12) SCBA face masks. SCBAs are used during fire responses to provide users oxygen and prevent exposure to dust, gases, and smoke infiltration.
“Many of our local fire departments are in need of SCBAs, to either replace worn out equipment or to replace inferior or obsolete systems used now”, City Manager of Negaunee Nate Heffron said.
According to Heffron, the City of Negaunee has been applying for grants with FEMA for several years with the hope that they would award funding for SCBAs. After not being awarded funding again in 2020, a different tactic was applied.
“We saw that our neighbors west of us had received a $677,000 AFG issued to Baraga County and surrounding fire departments. We wondered if we could do the same”, Heffron stated.
Upon further investigation, City Planning and Zoning Administrator David Nelson learned that an out of area firm had been consulted and helped put together the Baraga County grant. Many departments were interested, but in the end, only four departments decided to participate.
The grant was put together in short order. The turnaround time from when grants were awarded in 2020, until the next grant application window deadline was only 40 days.
“Luckily we had assistance from JW2 Fire Consultants. They were very pivotal in explaining the process, gathering all the necessary information, and submitting the application on time”, Nelson said.
According to the Negaunee Fire Department Chief Ned Cory, “Each community involved will pay a $1500 service fee to JW2 Fire Consultants for writing the grant. But if awarded the grant, there will be no match required.”
“We thank all of our neighboring departments for their efforts and participation and are very hopeful we will be successful with this grant,” Heffron said.
Questions concerning this release may be directed to the attention of City Manager, Nate Heffron at (906) 475-7700 ext. 11.