April 20, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s lacrosse falls to Hofstra on Senior Night, 11-6 -

Saturday, April 19, 2014

VIDEO: UMass United Rally in support of Derrick Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Friday, April 18, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Amherst Fire Department wins grant

Michelle Williams/Collegian

When the Town of Amherst Fire Department isn’t busy saving lives, it’s saving money in times of proposed budget cuts, especially with a new grant it just received that will improve its capabilities and provide better support to the community.

The fire department was awarded $55,852 in Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grants (FEMA), after undergoing an application process. The grant will be applied to purchasing federally-mandated equipment that is required to be installed by January of 2013.

Fire Chief Timothy Nelson said the grant will allow for the overall betterment of the department.

“The new mandate is that there is going to be a change on how our radio frequencies are handled and we have to act in support of the new bandwidth,” he said.

“It will improve our overall abilities and allow us to have better communication with other departments in the future,” he added.

Assistant Fire Chief Lindsey Stromgren took the task of writing the grant and identified what was needed among the department.

“Basically, when they put out the invitation for the grant, it wasn’t specific for any equipment, we had to identify ourselves what needed upgrading,” said Stromgren.

He added, “We figured that communications was something that was going to get us help, plus it’s much harder to justify a grant with something like a new fire truck.”

Nelson added without the grant, the updates were going to take a toll on budget and would be expensive to complete.

Five percent of the grant must be matched by the fire department to receive the grant and according to Nelson, the funds are going to be withdrawn from the training budget. He added that having ample time before the equipment is installed will allow the department to carefully decide from where exactly funds can be withdrawn.

Strongrem said the Town of Amherst has proposed a two-to-three percent budget cut for the departments of the town that would make affording the equipment more difficult without the additional money.

Nelson is appreciative of the grant, but said that the department could always use more.

“We can always use more tools and rescue equipment, because things break over time,” he said.

“The town does a great job with supporting us, but there is always more we could use,” he added.

Stromgren said the grant money was a necessity, because the department would not be able to pay for the required equipment on their own.

“We wouldn’t be able to afford all of it. We put in for the equipment with capital funding before even applying for the grant,” he said.

In addition to receiving the upgrades to the equipment, the fire department plans to carry out a review of their operation for the new year. This will help to determine what can be done better within the department. Medical standards have already been reviewed and revamped, and operational standards are scheduled to be reviewed next.

In a statement from Senator Scott Brown about the recent grant recipients, Brown said, “This funding is an important step toward ensuring they (firefighters) have the proper tools and resources, and I’m pleased our state is receiving these grants.”

The grant was a portion of a total of about $2 million that was received by a dozen fire departments statewide.

Tim Jones can be reached at timothyj@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment