Stabenow, Peters Announce Assistance to Improve West Michigan Fire Safety

Thursday, September 03, 2015

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters today announced more than $1.5 million in assistance to the Grand Rapids Fire Department, the Charter Township of Kalamazoo Fire Department and the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan to help improve fire safety in West Michigan.

"Fires continue to threaten the safety of families in communities across Michigan," said Senator Stabenow. "These new resources will help the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan work to prevent fires in the Grand Rapids area. This support will also give the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Fire Departments the tools they need to safely protect their communities."

"Our firefighters and first responders put their lives on the line to protect our communities in dangerous situations, and we must ensure they have the training and equipment to do their jobs safely and effectively," said Senator Peters. "This assistance will promote fire prevention by helping families get working smoke detectors placed in their homes, as well as ensure that the Grand Rapids and the Charter Township of Kalamazoo Fire Departments will be better prepared to help protect public safety when disaster strikes."

The Grand Rapids Fire Department will receive $1,183,819 and the Charter Township of Kalamazoo Fire Department will receive $268,331 through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. The assistance will help fund professional training, upgrades to facilities, protective equipment and other supplies to improve operations and safety.

The Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan will receive $50,659 through a Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant to help install free smoke detectors in homes for at-risk families living in the cities of Grand Rapids, Kentwood or Wyoming.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant and Fire Prevention and Safety Grant programs are part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). AFG Grants are awarded through a competitive process to fire departments, non-affiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations (EMS), and state fire training academies to enhance their ability to handle hazards efficiently and effectively. More information about the AFG program can be found here. Fire Prevention and Safety Grants are competitive grants that support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards.