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by Karin L. Nauber

karin@inhnews.com

    When our small cities receive grants to help us out, it is something to be celebrated. The city of Browerville recently received a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant in the amount of $161,838 for the fire department.

    According to Fire Chief Patrick Sutlief, “We are a small town, volunteer fire department with a very limited budget. We are very aware that it is very difficult to go to the taxpayers and ask for a significant increase to cover these costs. The FEMA grants are tremendous opportunities for small departments like ours to attain current and safe firefighting gear and equipment so we can safely do our jobs when we are called to action.”

    So, what will they be using the grant for?

    It was written with the intention of purchasing 23 sets of turnout gear.

    “Turnout gear includes our coats, pants, hood, suspenders, helmet, gloves and boots. The coats and pants are water-resistant and fire retardant. The gloves are leather with layers to protect from the heat and cold. The Nomex hood is fire resistant, so the guys with hair can keep it from burning. For some of us, it just keeps our heads warm. The boots are steel-toe, steel shank and water-proof. Each set of turnout gear is budgeted to cost about $6400,” explained Sutlief.

    The grant also includes money for 14 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. What are SCBAs you may be asking?

    “They are the masks and air tanks firefighters wear in fires so we can breath in an environment where the air is too smoky or too hot to safely breath,” he explained. . . .

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