Volunteer Firefighters to get New Turnout Gear

A rural NJ fire company is getting new equipment

An Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) will provide the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company with 25 sets of turnout gear as well as 25 face masks, according to a FEMA release.

“FEMA offers these grants to fire companies large and small throughout our region,” said Dale McShine, director of grants for FEMA region II. “We are keenly aware of how important safety is to all firefighters, and we are very pleased to take part in this program.”

The grant covers 25 complete sets of coats, pants, helmets, gloves, boots, and vests. It also includes funding for the same number of face masks. A current shortage provides additional safety problems.

“Eighty-four percent of our members have gear that is ten years old and the other 16 percent have no gear at all and are unable to receive training,” said Joseph Sterling, captain of the fire company in a statement. “We’re excited, and relieved, with this grant. It saves the taxpayers money and takes a lot of pressure off the commissioners.”

The federal portion of the grant is $75,644 while the local share is $3,981. The fire company covers 50 square miles in the Maurice River Township of New Jersey.

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