Modern personal protective equipment for the firefighters, and a high-pressure breathing air system was purchased in 2002 with the $114,000 provided by the federal government. The Department had used a low pressure self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and updated to high pressure. We also purchased a compressor which is used to fill the air bottles firefighters wear when working in smoke filled environments. Neighboring communities provided this service in the past.
The 2003 grant proposal provided $225,000 towards the purchase of a new fire engine. The final cost of the truck was $305,000 with the City required to pay approximately $80,000 toward the vehicle.
In 2004, $80,000 in funding was sought to replace equipment that no longer complied with State and Federal Standards and to better equip the new engine. New hose, nozzles, additional breathing apparatus, forcible entry tools, ventilation fans and vehicular radios replaced equipment that was nearly 25 years old. The Department also purchased for the first time, a complete set of hydraulic rescue tools (Jaws of Life) that are frequently used to extricate victims trapped in motor vehicles.
2005The 2005 grant request for $50,000 focused on equipment used to rescue firefighters who may be trapped during fire operations and to upgrade existing equipment. Improved masks for the breathing apparatus, specialized saws, a thermal imaging camera, and gas detectors were purchased.
In 2008, the Department was the host applicant for a regional communications grant totaling $650,000 for the communities of Olmsted Township, Parma Heights, and Olmsted Falls. This grant allowed the three Departments to transfer to a new communications platform that exists across the State. Cuyahoga County picked up the matching funds for this equipment. There were no costs incurred by any of the communities for this state of the art equipment.
2010 & 2011
In 2010 and 2011 new fire personal protective gear was purchased for the department along with new Life Pac 15 heart monitors. Again federal grant monies were obtained for the purchases in the amount of $86,000.
2012 & 2013
With the constant change in communication technology, a grant in 2012 and 2013 was written and awarded for new up to date 800 radio equipment that helped equip the Southwest Communication Center, our dispatch center for Olmsted Falls. The federal funds came to $371,000.
An increased focus on long-term firefighter health and the often resulting occupational cancer led the department to receive a Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation grant to install a diesel exhaust removal system in the apparatus bays. This system activates automatically as soon as a fire apparatus is started and uses a powered fan to vent the diesel exhaust outside the station. Prior to this, diesel exhaust lingered in the apparatus bays and made its way into the living quarters, needlessly exposing firefighters to carcinogens. The BWC portion of the grant covered 50% of the $32,000 equipment and installation cost.
The department continues to seek new funding sources each year to replace or purchase new Fire and EMS equipment.