Grant will be spent on firefighting gear

SAN BRUNO — The city’s fire department was the only one on the Peninsula to come away with nearly $30,000 in grant money after a recent round of federal funding.

Fire chief Dan Voreyer said the department plans on spending the money — which required a 10 percent city match of the grant, approximately $3,200 — on two types of personal protective equipment for all 34 firefighters in the department, fire shelters and emergency medical service coats. Though the department currently has some of these items, the grant money will allow the purchase of brand-new ones that meet the latest safety regulations.

Fire shelters are like large, heavy-duty ponchos used mainly in wildfire situations. When worn, the shelters radiate heat away from the firefighter. Emergency medical service coats are meant for medical emergencies, which compose the majority of the department’s calls for service, Voreyer said. The coats, which meet the latest standards handed down by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, provide a barrier against blood and other bodily fluids.

This grant marks the department’s third successful stab at this type of federal funding, Voreyer said. Last year, the department came away with roughly $130,000 in funding to buy breathing packs and equipment for handling hazardous materials.

Fire shelters are standard-issue items that most departments are required to have, Millbrae Fire Chief Dennis Haag said. New fire shelters have been on the department’s capital budget list for years, but the funding has not yet become available to fund new ones.

This neighboring department plans to also apply for grant funding soon, Haag said, to upgrade its radio communications system.

The federal Department of Homeland Security this month doled out nearly $92 million in grants to 860 fire departments nationwide. The money goes to agencies that are first responders in emergencies of all kinds.The City Council is expected to review the grant issue sometime this month.

tramroop@examiner.com

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