Elba Fire Chief Drew Parker addressed the Elba City Council during its regular meeting Monday evening, Sept. 28, to inform the council that the fire department had been awarded a FEMA grant to purchase some new equipment. Parker said the grand award was for $51,250 and is a 95/5 match grant. Therefore, he said the department’s cost would be roughly $2,500. “The tools we are going to replace with these monies are about 15 years old,” Parker said. “This grant program has been very good to us over the years.” Parker said the plan is for the fire department to replace its gas-operated hydraulic rescue equipment with a new battery-powered hydraulic rescue tool used for extrication. Also, he said the funds would allow the department to purchase stabilization struts to accommodate the extrication equipment. “With this new tool, we can be cutting in less than 60 seconds after arriving on scene,” Parker said. “The tools we are purchasing also will allow us to actually be able to lift a vehicle off of someone, if needed.” Over the past 10 years, Chief Parker said this FEMA grant program has awarded Elba’s Fire Department approximately $750,000. He said the department in the past had purchased a couple of vehicles with monies from this program. He said the next step is to request bids for the equipment. Therefore, he said he would be returning to a future council meeting to get official approval to award the bid to allow the fire department to move forward with purchase of this new equipment.

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