SOUTHWICK – The Southwick Fire Department was awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant by the Department of Homeland Security.
The $37,142.85 grant will be used to replace the department’s Jaws of Life.
“We are excited to receive this grant,” said Fire Chief Russell Anderson. “This grant will be instrumental in replacing extrication equipment, some of which is 30 years old.”
According to Bridget Bean of Homeland Security, the town is required to contribute non-federal funds equal or greater to five percent of the federal funds awarded, or $1,857.15.
Anderson said the department had stiff competition for the grant.
“This grant is a competitive grant with FEMA receiving over 8,000 applications and only 1,800 awards across the country,” Anderson said. “This grant, along with new technology, will allow us to begin a transition to battery operated equipment that will give us more flexibility and effectiveness in extrication operations.”
The Jaws of Life are used to extricate a person from a vehicle. Typically used on accident scenes, the hydraulic apparatus includes several tools, including cutters, spreaders and rams. The Southwick Fire Department regularly trains staff on how to use the Jaws of Life.