RIO GRANDE — Ohio Development Services Agency recently awarded $193,229 to both Centerville and Rio Grande fire departments for equipment needs.
“We had applied about a year ago,” said Rio Grande Fire Fighter Tim Hemrick. “We were in need of new SCBAs, a self-contained breathing apparatus. We had applied and our request was not funded. So I met with the grant administrator and he explained our chances would increase if we partnered with one of the other local fire departments.”
Rio Grande would eventually partner with Centerville, said Hemrick, in the attempt to get grant funding.
“We reconfigured the grant and submitted it,” said Hemrick. “I believe it was in October (of last year). We did the collaboration and informed they were going to fund the grant.”
Hemrick said Centerville received $93,229 and Rio Grande received $100,000. Hemrick said Centerville would likely put money towards rescue tools, turnout gear and potentially hoses. Rio Grande intended on purchasing the breathing apparatuses. The devices are commonly used Hemrick once served with the Dayton Fire Department and lends his grant writing experiences when able. He retired as the department’s assistant chief in 2002 before moving to Gallia and now serving as a firefighter with the Rio Grande department.
“First responders put their lives on the line every day to ensure safety in our communities,” said State Senator Bob Peterson in a press release. “I was pleased to support this grant application, in collaboration with officials … to help equip our firefighters with the resources necessary to protect families and property.”
Senator Peterson expressed appreciation for Director David Goodman and his staff who administer the Local Government Safety Capital Grant Program. The program provides grants for the purchase of vehicles, equipment, facilities and systems needed to enhance public safety.
Rio Grande and Centerville were of only 49 Ohio communities chosen to receive local government innovation grants.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.