This week, the Oakland Fire Department (OFD) was notified that its application for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant was successful and the Department will be awarded $197,543.20. The funds will enable the department to strengthen its capability in the specialties of Water Rescue, Technical Rescue (aka Heavy Rescue), and Hazardous Materials Response. Oakland Fire supports Type I (CA Office of Emergency Services Mutual Aid) teams for each of these special operations teams.
“The FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program has proven to be a tremendous asset to our department,” said Fire Chief Reginald Freeman. “Firefighters work to prevent the loss of life and to protect the environment in many different ways, and our Special Operations teams are comprised of highly trained members with advanced skills that come at a significant but worthwhile cost to fund and operate. This grant will provide direct financial assistance to obtain critically needed resources to equip and train our emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operations, and supports overall community resilience.”
The grant will fund the training of (10) personnel for each the following courses:
- River Flood Rescue Technician – Water Rescue
- River Flood Rescue Technician Boat Operator – Water Rescue
- Rope Rescue Technician – Technical Rescue
- Rescue Systems I; Rescue Systems II; and Rescue Systems III – Technical Rescue (Note: These three courses combined are equivalent to Structural Collapse Technician)
- Hazardous Materials Technician – Hazardous Materials Response (This course is a four-week course to total 160 hours of training)
“Especially in tough economic times, it is critical that City departments seek out any and all available funding and resources to ensure the health and safety of our residents and our dedicated personnel,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. “I am proud to see that the Fire Department has been successful in this regard for many years and is focused on training firefighters in these specialty areas to ensure they have the capability to respond when called upon.”
Since 2001, FEMA’s AFG program has helped firefighters and other first responders around the country obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
For over a decade, the Oakland Fire Department has built a successful record of receiving FEMA AFG grants which offset the growing cost of equipment, supplies, training and wellness program services, and vehicles.