Fire Department Awarded Over $150,000 in FEMA Funds


GALION — The Galion Fire and EMS Department will receive more than $150,000 in federal grant funds.

On Tuesday, the Galion City Council unanimously approved legislation to accept a FEMA grant on behalf of the department, with a federal share of $151,096 and a local match of $7,554.

Fire Chief Phil Jackson said there are two parts to the grant. The first is $115,650 that will be used to purchase three new cardiac monitors to replace the existing, outdated monitors.

“This could save lives,” Jackson said, explaining the new monitors will improve patient diagnosis so the hospital can be notified of a specific condition and type of care needed. They also feature carbon monoxide monitoring for firefighters, to check their exposure at a fire scene. The staff is currently demoing equipment.

The second part of the grant is $43,000 for staff health and wellness, which can be used to purchase fitness equipment; cover the cost of exams, physicals and vaccinations; offer fitness counseling; or make station improvements. To get started, fitness equipment will be purchased and a second shower will be installed at the fire station. Jackson noted health and wellness initiatives will help to cut down on sick days and insurance claims, as well as make the department more efficient overall.

To get started, fitness equipment will be purchased and a second shower will be installed at the fire station. Jackson noted health and wellness initiatives will help to cut down on sick days and insurance claims, as well as make the department more efficient overall.

“We get all of that and only pay five percent of the cost,” Jackson said of the grant.

The Fire and EMS Department has received nearly $500,000 in grants since Jackson became chief in 2011. The funding has been used to replace firefighting gear, purchase smoke detectors and house signs for residents, equip an ambulance with a powered cot, and purchase a new jaws of life through a joint grant with the Crestline Fire Department.

Most funding opportunities are open to every fire department in the country, which makes them very competitive. “I love writing grants. We’ve received about half of all the grants we’ve applied for which is a good ratio. It’s a lot of work but always worth it,” Jackson said.

“I love writing grants. We’ve received about half of all the grants we’ve applied for which is a good ratio. It’s a lot of work but always worth it,” Jackson said.

The staff helps to research and determine needs, and most grants are put towards equipment that must be replaced. Next year, the department will apply for grants to purchase a new ambulance, help cover staff training and to replace the thermal imaging camera.

Staff report

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