LANGHORNE >> Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) has announced that the Third District Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 of Bristol has received a FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist with equipping and training emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhancing operational efficiencies, fostering interoperability, and supporting community resilience.
The Third District Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 received a total of $638,545.45 to be used towards Operation and Safety through the AFG Program. This is a regional grant that will be split between the Third District Fire Company, Newportville Fire Company, Cornwells Fire Company, Bristol Fire Company No. 1, and the Bristol Consolidated Fire Department.
The Bristol and Bensalem Fire Departments plan on utilizing the grant to replace all their self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment due to their fast-approaching operational life expectancy. The departments will soon be equipped with the most up-to-date safety features.
The purpose of the AFG Program is to award grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated emergency medical services (EMS) organizations, and State Fire Training Academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel. Using a competitive process that is informed by fire service subject matter experts, grants are awarded to eligible applicants whose applications best address the priorities of the AFG Program. Since fiscal year (FY) 2001, the AFG Program has awarded approximately $7.7 billion in grants to provide critically needed resources. The total amount appropriated for the FY 2020 AFG Program initiative is $355 million.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, fire departments across the Commonwealth and nation have been hindered in their ability to raise the necessary funds to maintain the indispensable services that their departments provide,” said Fitzpatrick. “This grant will ensure that the Third District Volunteer Fire Company, Newportville Fire Company, Cornwells Fire Company, Bristol Fire Company No. 1, and the Bristol Consolidated Fire Department remain premier fire departments here in Bucks County. The AFG program is not only vital to our volunteer fire departments financially, but also vital to our residents, who rely on these services to keep them safe.”
Currently, FEMA is on round 6 of the competitive FY 2020 AFG announcements and will continue to announce AFG grants on a weekly basis. This program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.
In August of 2020, Congressman Fitzpatrick announced that Third District Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 was awarded $357,480 through the 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program to assist with staffing levels.