ROME TOWNSHIP, OH – The Rome Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the amount of $135,048 for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and training. The goal of obtaining this grant is to immediately improve the health and safety of our firefighters and the community we serve by purchasing new SCBA equipment used to supply firefighters with breathable air during an active fire. The current age of the fire department’s breathing apparatus is well over 10 years of heavy use during training and emergency incidents.
Since 2001, the AFG has provided billions of dollars in grant funding to first-responder organizations. The grant helps fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations obtain the equipment they need to do their jobs effectively, including protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources that help protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and other related hazards. The fire department’s last AFG grant award was in 2005.
“This grant award will allow us to replace our current outdated SCBA harnesses and bottles and also bring many of our firefighters to recommended nationally accepted training levels.” said George Barnett, chief of the Rome Volunteer Fire Department. “Our primary mission is safety and continuously providing our residents with the high level of service they expect and deserve.” The AFG will allow the department to purchase 22 new SCBA units; some of which will be equipped with integrated thermal imaging technology allowing rescuers to identify and remove victims from hazardous situations quicker and more efficiently
The Rome Volunteer Fire Department, established in 1962, is comprised of 27 members serving the citizens of Rome Township and the Village of Athalia. Led by Chief George Barnett, the department serves a 36 square mile area and responds to an average of 350 calls per year. Rome Fire Department shares mutual aid agreements with neighboring fire departments in Lawrence & Gallia counties in Ohio and Cabell County, West Virginia. For more information visit RomeFire.org.