RIO GRANDE — The Rio Grande Fire Department is seeing some changes with grants and focuses in training.
“We’ve had a long discussion about incident scene safety,” said Operations Officer Tim Hemmerick. “We’re going to try to put the whole department through an incident scene safety program, I believe the state has one and its eight to 12 hours long. Some of us already have it. It’s going to help better us.”
At the end of the 2018, the department received roughly $15,000 through an Ohio Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant. The money will be put toward new pagers, personal protection equipment and some tools. Then the department also was awarded a grant through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation which netted around $10,200 and was utilized to purchase an extractor, which Hemmerick described as “basically a fire gear washing machine.”
Volunteers also were equipped with new gloves and a new type of “barrier hood.”
“With the number of cancers that are starting to skyrocket in the fire service, these hoods are designed to reduce some of the particulate matters that cause cancer and everyone got one,” said Hemmerick.
The fire department is also processing another Assistance to Firefighters Grant through FEMA and received another $25,000 and are looking to replace most of its fire hose.
“We’re going to a new type nozzle which will greatly enhance our suppression capabilities and we’ll start training on that this month,” said Hemmerick. “All of this stuff might not be in service until March and that depends on the government shutdown in part.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.