Goshen Fire receives $95K grant for air packs

Published 3:00 am Sunday, July 15, 2018

By Tamela Staples

The Goshen Fire Department has received a $95,000 grant for 13 new air packs from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) sponsored by FEMA.

In 2001, AFG was established to help firefighters and other first responders obtain needed equipment, protective gear emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public.

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Clay McDougald, assistant fire chief for the volunteer department, said he reached out to JMCM Consulting in North Alabama for help writing the grant to provide the department with new SCBA air packs.

“The grant will provide us with 13 air packs and 26 air cylinders,” McDougald said. “We use these for smoke or any hazardous fires.”

McDougald said there is a process to being able to receive this award from a first run through the computer to a peer review.

“If you pass the computer criteria, it will select your application to be put through a peer review where other firefighters from around the country review your department, and it is awarded based on that,” McDougald said.

“FEMA funded 95 percent of it, 5 percent is what the department has to come up with and 5 percent goes to the grant writers.”

Goshen Mayor Darren Jordan says that he is thankful a grant like this is in place for small town fire departments who may not have the funds for firefighter equipment.

“I am humbled and thankful,” Jordan said. “The town supports the fire department, but with a town the size of Goshen it can be hard to come up with that type of funding all at one time.”

Goshen Fire Department has received three grants in all that have provided them with firefighter gear, air packs and a firetruck.

“It’s a relief of a financial burden, not only for the fire department, but the town as well,” Jordan said. “It frees up money we would use for the fire department and we’re able to fix streets or do upgrades to the water system.”

Some of the firemen who volunteer at Goshen Fire Department are also professional firefighters in Troy.

“Goshen is very fortunate to have these men,” said Jordan, who is one of those firefighters serving in both departments. “They can teach the volunteers the ins and outs, they provide guidance and mentor those who are not professionally trained.

“They deserve this, they come and put in work just as they do in Troy, we are thankful for our fire department.”

McDougald said they are excited for the new SCBA air packs and are thankful that the AFG exists.

“We are very excited,” McDougald said. “We are a volunteer department with limited funding, and without the AFG we would not have been able to purchase the air packs.”

On behalf of the Goshen Fire Department, McDougald thanks JMCM Consulting for helping them receive this grant and the Goshen community for being supportive.