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Grant to buy fire gear for department

Bogue Chitto Volunteer Fire Department will be able to replacesome much needed equipment after recently receiving a $51,651federal grant.

The Department of Homeland Security grant is administeredthrough the Assistance to Firefighters Program.

The department has a list of items that the grant will helpaddress, said firefighter Erin Bradley, who helped submit theapplication. Among those items are a new water pump for the watertanker, turnout gear, truck hoses and radios.

The water pump on the tanker, which pumps water from it to awaiting fire truck, was beginning to show signs of wear when thegrant application was filed, she said, but has since failedcompletely.

It is an expensive repair, and the department decided to waitand see if the grant was approved before committing to it. In themeantime, the department has been operating without the use of itstanker.

“We’ll get that done as soon as possible now,” Bradley said.

The money will also be used to purchase new turn out gear toprotect firefighters during a blaze, she said. The department lastpurchased turn out gear in 1991 and the gear is no longer up tostandard since regulations have changed in that time.

New water hoses for the truck and additional firefighter radiosare the last major items to be funded by the grant.

“We’ve gained more firefighters, so we needed more radios andpagers to alert them when there was a fire,” she said.

This was the first time Bogue Chitto had applied for the grant,Bradley said. Department officers are already considering itemsthey could apply for next year, but the grant will be based on themost important needs at the time.

Sylvarena Volunteer Fire Department in Copiah County received a$126,000 grant in the same round through the Department of HomelandSecurity.