Washington County’s six fire departments were notified
last week that they received a grant valued at $2,999,000 to replace self-contained
breathing apparatus (SCBA). An SCBA allows a firefighter to work in toxic and
smoke-filled conditions present in every structure fire and on hazardous
materials events, providing them with clean, breathable air.
This grant is
provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to
Firefighters Grant, and is one of the largest grants ever awarded.
The six departments will match a total $272,636 to fund the project.
This project was coordinated by the Washington County Fire Defense Board, which is comprised of all the fire chiefs in Washington County. In 2015, the chiefs began planning for the replacement of their SCBAs, many of which will reach their end-of-service life in 2021-22. The board established committees to research the latest SCBA technology and seek funding options.
This important grant will enable Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Hillsboro Fire & Rescue, Forest Grove Fire
& Rescue, Cornelius Fire Department - Oregon, the Gaston Rural Fire District, and Banks Fire District 13 to replace their
aging inventory of 427 SCBA with new state-of-the-art breathing apparatus, as well as acquire 318 extra face
Washington County’s firefighters routinely cross
jurisdictional lines to support each other through a coordinated automatic and
mutual-aid system. The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant
is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters. This funding is for
critically needed resources to
equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operational efficiencies,
foster interoperability, and support community resilience.