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Lakehurst Fire Department Receives Competitive FEMA Grant

The Lakehurst Volunteer Fire Company N. 1 got some good news recently, in the form of a $76,609 FEMA grant, according to a release from Rep. Chris Smith's office.

The grant will be used to buy 11 sets of self-containing breathing apparatus for the fire company, located on Proving Ground Road in Lakehurst. The new equipment will be used to replace 13 older sets that are unreliable and out of compliance, Smith said.

"This federal grant will help protect firefighters in harm's way," said Smith, who is a longtime member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. "People who go into burning buildings need the proper equipment to survive in that life-threatening environment. Lakehurst is an all-volunteer company and its members need this funding to safely do their jobs."

Smith worked with Fire Chief Ed Seaman at the fire company to obtain the grant. He wrote to the highest FEMA to support the application.

The fire company was able to raise the funds for the two other sets on its own, Smith said.

Historically, the department has responded to the infamous Hindenburg crash of 1937, as well as Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Irene in 2011 when it both served borough residents and provided mutual aid to neighboring towns in Ocean County.

The funds come from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Operations and Safety Grant Program. It is administered by FEMAin cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration. The purpose of AFG is to award grants directly to fire departments and non-affiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations (EMS) to protect both the health and safety of the public, and first-responder personnel as well, according to Smith's office.

The grants are competitive and are awarded to applicants who meet the priorities of the AFG program, Smith said.

For more about the FY 2013 AFG Program please visit http://www.fema.gov/assistance-firefighters-grant.



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