Grants provide new equipment, more for Hamilton firefighters

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Hamilton??€™s oldest fire station built in 1910 stiil in operation in Lindenwald.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

So far in 2018, the Hamilton Fire Department has been able to secure funding through grants for major improvements in facilities and safety equipment.

The largest grant award has been for self-contained breathing apparatus, which firefighters use to breathe fresh air while working in smoky conditions at fires. Hamilton was also awarded a 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), which was used to replace the equipment at the end of its life. The grant covers $486,980 out of $535,678 of the cost, leaving Hamilton to pay only $48,698, according to the city.

Hamilton was also awarded a grant through Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC) to add washing machines for fire gear to two stations. The machines are highly specialized, as the gear must be cleaned in a way that does not damage the expensive garments, according to the department. BWC provided $11,133 for the project, and Hamilton matched $2,226.

The third project, which has been designed to improve emergency response by putting emergency crews closer to the calls they make, is a remodel of Station 21 on Brookwood Avenue.

The station is being renovated inside to allow for a paramedic unit to be stationed there in addition to the engine company. That medic unit will be permanently relocated to Station 21 when the renovation is completed, near the end of August. While there is no additional space being added, the project includes individual dorms for the firefighters, a necessary and beneficial update since the fire crews include both women and men. The cost of the renovation is $93,000 and is funded through Community Development Block Grant.

Using these three grants, Hamilton has been able to upgrade facilities and equipment with nearly $640,000 of value. The city’s out-of-pocket cost for these upgrades is $51,000.