Currituck County Fire & Emergency Medical Services was awarded a $995,000 Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help purchase new Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBAs) for all fire departments in the Currituck County. This will allow all firefighters to use the same lifesaving equipment, help to standardize fire-ground operations as well as fire training, and allow the county to purchase individual SCBA face masks for each firefighter as part of their firefighting ensemble.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) is designed to assist communities in the purchase of emergency fire-related equipment. This year’s program was funded with $375 million dollars: Currituck County submitted the grant in March and it passed a rigorous and comprehensive review process. AFG receives approximately 2 billion dollars in requests per year. Applications are assessed on locality needs and are weighed against other grant requests received.
SCBAs are the lifeline for firefighters, providing the respiratory protection necessary to allow firefighters to safely enter buildings that are on fire with conditions of smoke and high heat. Currently, Currituck has three different types of SCBAs that are not compatible with each other. Firefighters also have previously had to share SCBA face pieces with one another, which is unsanitary and not optimal. One SCBA costs approximately $6,500, with an additional $400 for each SCBA air tank. Currituck County plans to purchase 170 units.